My birthday dedication today is for my Facebook friend, Thomas Walsh, of Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary who is celebrating his birthday. Thank you for being my Facebook friend, Thomas and I hope you have a smashing day.
I also dedicate my song today to any family member, friend, neighbour or Facebook contact who is approaching this season of Christmas with some trepidation, having been bereaved of a loved one or lifelong partner recently or in the past.
While most of us look forward to Christmas, there are so many people who will be glad when all the partying and festivities are over. For many people, Christmas has become a sad time of the year instead of being an occasion to rejoice. Sometimes the feeling of loss of a loved one can last many years, replacing the constant love and laughter you once shared with them with feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
There will be some people this Christmas, who through occupational commitments, cannot be with their partner at this special time of the year. I think of serving soldiers overseas in troubled parts of the world, risking their life and personal safety in maintaining peace. I also think of all those dedicated people who serve and staff the caring professions like hospitals, old folk’s homes and hospices; not forgetting those thousands of volunteers who will be handing out blankets and serving in soup kitchens for the homeless and rough sleepers this Christmas morning.
Then, there are those men and women serving prison sentences, or those political prisoners who are illegally confined in other parts of the world because they protested peaceably against some state injustice. There are those young children in Children’s Homes and orphanages, growing up without the support of a family structure and never having the comfort of a parent tucking them in their beds on Christmas Eve and telling them that they are loved. There are those people who are on their death beds in hospices who cannot be at home this Christmas and who will never see another Christmas with their loved ones. What weight their thoughts must be this Christmas as they think upon the loved ones, they will leave behind to grieve their absence?
Then, there is the elderly neighbour who lives alone and doesn’t have one visitor between one month and the next; and the rough sleeper who has either lost contact with their family or is too proud or ashamed to re-initiate contact for fear of rejection again.
Finally, there is the single man or single woman who has never yet known the deep affection of a partner yet would dearly love to have someone to love and care for other than their cat or dog, if only they could meet the right person. They experience a kind of loneliness at Christmas time that none of all the other mentioned categories will ever experience. Their loneliness is born in the hurt of a deep loss of ‘never having known love’; it springs from ‘within the well of emptiness’ that only the state of singleness can produce, forever dwelling within a person who was never meant to live alone and not know the intimate love of another.
I want you to know that each of you is loved by more people than you can ever know; even by strangers you will never meet or people you will pass on the street, live next door to and may never speak to or socialise with. None of us lives in a vacuum, adrift from the concerns of everyone else in society or isolated from the thoughts of so many good people around you. It is in mankind’s nature to be ‘good to one another’ and to think well of a stranger or not think about them at all; especially at Christmas time.
Sheila and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Love and peace Bill xxx