A season of exclusion for many


Sir, – The idea promulgated that we’ll all emerge from the trenches on December 1st and be set upon by hordes of loving relations and friends euphoric at the possibility of reconnection is becoming very tedious. I wish everyone in that happy position every delight as they meet up with loved ones.

But that Pollyanna concept of an homogenous and ecstatic embrace is not true for everyone.

Covid or no Covid, a state of loneliness and isolation is the brutal reality for so many people, regardless of the date on the calendar.

Christmas, with all its hyped-up unreality, is a particularly bleak time when such loss can be even more keenly felt.

Losses sustained through bereavement, emigration, family breakdown, conflict, indifference, social exclusion or the crude fall of the dice leave many plodding on, relying on the precious few for support and company.

Those who are part of loving, connected families with strong bonds of friendship are indeed blessed and deserve every opportunity to celebrate together.

But please stop peddling some charmed notion that that is the general experience and voice a more sensitive and nuanced message. – Yours, etc,