Christmas is a lonely time for many people. In 2018 I was driving home when I experienced some traffic delays on the M11; this resulted in a four-hour delay to get home as I sat in my car, like everyone else, as my mind began to drift into my past. 

I began to think about my Childhood and young Adulthood and all the people who were close to me in my life. My Mam and Dad. My sisters and brothers. My auntie Nell and friends of my family. I was one of those kids that had no friends when I was a child or young adult, only my family. 

I began to feel the love we once shared. The togetherness, unity, and bonds that bound us together as a family. The safety and unity of the family, and the incredible sense of belonging.

Then the realisation that all that magic was gone. I became uncontrollably upset and began to cry. I’m sitting in my car on the M11, like sitting in a motionless car park, whilst all of these feelings are flooding my Heart, and yet, it just seemed right at that moment, sad but fitting, in a very odd way. 

Luther Vandross's "Dance with my Father again" came on my playlist, and immediately I was cast back to when I was a boy, and my Dad would get me to step onto his big manly feet and walk me from the bedroom to the bathroom so my feet would not get cold on the lino floor. He was an amazing man. His love and embrace were enough for me to know how loved I was.

I recalled my mum and her dedication to preparing for Christmas, putting up the Christmas tree and opening the doorway for Santa Claus. She loved Christmas very much. My Mum was my best friend, and I miss her so much. 

At Christmas time, our house would be filled with brothers and sisters, their husbands and wives and their children. So many family members all in the loving environment of my parent's home. 

I began to realise how lonely life had become and just how lonely I had become over the years, even though I am now married to the most beautiful big Hearted, Loving and Wonderful husband and the kindest, most caring man I have known since my father. Even though we have been together for many years,  I realised I still felt alone and lonely for my parents and my family, and this time of year seemed to exasperate those feelings of isolation. 

The other thing I began to contemplate was the regular bouts of sadness I had, not just at Christmas and not all the time, but there, resident, most of the time. I wondered whether this sadness was a yearning to be home with my family or home with my creator.

I cried all the way home as memories swelled in my heart. What my young life was like. Filled with such love and connection - and now, the realisation of the reality of emptiness and sadness.

My Dad and Mam left this glorious planet in 1998/99, and since then. My siblings have found their places within their own families. As time has passed, the void and gap within the existing family unit have become bigger and bigger, as does the pain in my heart. 

I was a fortunate child. I had loving parents and loving sisters and brothers. I am very blessed and grateful for those young foundations as I grew into adulthood; these foundations stood to me. My family was my rock. 

I was a lucky boy and young man. So many men, women and children did not have the same love or connection as I had. So many others had difficult childhoods and young adulthoods.  And as so, they too can be sad at this time of year for different reasons. Others had awful experiences at Christmas that will remain with them forever. 

I feel that it’s really important to remember that there are lots and lots of people who do not look forward to this time of year.  Some people are alone at Christmas. I mean alone. Isolated. Others don’t have the joy I experienced by having a large family around them. 

Many people will be alone this Christmas for the first time, as they may have lost a significant other during the year. Whilst other families may have lost a parent or parents or a family member. 

Some are in hospital, and sadly, those have no homes at all. 

It’s a sad and lonely time for much of humanity. 

This is a sad time for me, but I also realise it’s a sorrowful time for others far worse off than I am. 

No matter where you fit along the spectrum of life. Spend a moment and feel for those less well-off than you are. Send a beam of light from your Heart to their Heart, and in that Heartfelt intention, you can bring some Light to others at this time. 

Be your Heart this Christmas. 

  • David Ellis 15122018

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