I remember not being able to visit Jim and hold his hand, tell him he was going to be ok for the 35 days he was in hospital and only able to talk to him via video call for the last two weeks of his life.

It’s a statement that conveys the emotion and pain at not being able to be with a loved one in their final days due to covid restrictions.

Like many families, husbands, wives and partners across the country, Connie McCready was cut off from her beloved fiancé Jim Russell after he was admitted to hospital suffering from covid.

Read more: I remember: How you can take part in reflecting through our national covid memorial campaign

It was late March 2020 when the 51-year-old truck driver from Glasgow began to feel unwell and was admitted to hospital.

The Herald: Bereaved relatives are being given time to reflect through I rememberBereaved relatives are being given time to reflect through I remember

And while it might be 14 months on since Ms McCready lost Mr Russell, 51, she has been grieving for him during unprecedented times when people have been unable to hold the funerals they would have liked for loved ones and been physically supported by close family and friends.

It is through our I remember project for The Herald’s covid memorial campaign, that we hope to reach out to people.

We are asking people to write their own I remember forms, an anonymous sentence of how they feel about or think of the pandemic. It is these reflections will our artist Alec Finlay will use to feed into the eventual memorial in Pollok Country Park. And Ms McCready has penned her own in tribute to Mr Russell.

Our aim is to create a fitting memorial to those who lost their lives during the pandemic and a place for anyone who has been affected whether it be grieving for a lost loved one or recovering from the virus itself and living with ‘long covid.’

We have raised more than £63,000 towards the project with generous donations from readers, bereaved families and the business world. Our fundraising was kickstarted by a donation from the Harry Clarke group of companies in Hillington. They made a £5000 donation as one of their directors was a close friend of Mr Russell.

The Herald: One of the many I remember forms receivedOne of the many I remember forms received

Ms McCready, who has been a supporter of the memorial campaign since it was launched last May, is the founder of the Covid 19 Families Scotland group, and her group will be one of many taking part in a series of planned I remember workshops over the summer.

Ms McCready said: “I could have written about so many things to do with the pandemic and losing Jim and once I started they just came to me.

“I used my I remember about not being able to hold Jim’s hand in the hospital or be with him at that time. Writing it wasn’t the hard part, but speaking about it has.

“Even all these months on I find it hard to talk about it, but using I remember was helpful and other people might find it is something that helps them as well.”

Read more: Covid memorial: How I Remember theme can reach out to help culture of recuperation

Artist Mr Finlay, who is working with colleagues Lucy Richards and Ken Cockburn, said he had been deeply touched reading the range of contributions they have had to 'I remember’.

He said: "I have received recently from bereaved families and NHS staff. My inbox has been like a burn flowing and then, some days, there are waterfalls, where it fills up. Each person’s memory helps to make the individual experience of the pandemic real – sometimes tragic personal losses are expressed in simple almost mundane memories, which are moving – bad Dad jokes, shared walks, the texture of a wall – while others strike to the heart – the fears we’ve all sometimes felt, a son lost too early, a beloved mum now gone.”

The Herald: Artist Alec Finlay is leading the engagement phaseArtist Alec Finlay is leading the engagement phase

Mr Finlay said as an artist it’s one thing to have an idea, but to watch it be populated by people’s memories is a privilege.

“I archive every contribution, and paint them all with a brush and ink, onto A4 paper, so that on the blog they have a uniform presence,” he added. “Sometimes I spend a whole morning just painting out ‘I remembers’; I like that, while the final physical artwork is still being developed, I have actually begun to make the memorial now. People can know their memories are being taken care of and will have a lasting home. One person sent in the simplest text possible, just ‘I remember' and their loved one’s first name, and I’d encourage anyone who wants to send that, even if they can’t think of anything more they want to say.”

To submit an I remember email covidmemorial@Theherald.co.uk

To find out more about the campaign go to www.heraldscotland.com/campaigns/memorial-garden/