All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle

Loneliness can play a part in so many people’s life. You can be in a room full of people and still feel lonely. Loneliness can consist of physically being alone but alone mentally feeling alone.

It is hard to imagine really in a world of social media, facetime and skype how can people get lonely all they need to do is communicate isn’t it? But what if the one person you spent most of your life communicating with has gone and suddenly the world you had built together no longer exists. What if the one person you shared your secrets, hope and fears with is no longer there? How do you start again? And this does not necessarily mean because that person has passed away but it can also be because your relationship has broken down or circumstances mean you can no longer be together.

We are a society which have become more and more enclosed and whereas 30/40 years ago we knew our neighbours and kids would play out on the street till dark those days have slowly stopped and community is becoming less of a thing. People are busy, due to situations we are less trusting and now instead of stopping to have a chat over the fence it is about getting into the house as quick as we can.

Hubert’s world was his family starting with his wife Joyce and then his children Rose and David but due to circumstances out of his control Hubert Bird was a man living on his own with no one to call his own. He was lonely and for anyone who has been lonely they will know that it is hard to break that vicious cycle. Enter Ashleigh a young woman who trusts Hubert even though she does not know him from Adam.

My nan always said I was a good judge of character and I am. Obviously maybe not so much when it comes to boyfriends, but people , regular people, I’m like that’. She pointed a finger directly at Hubert’s heart. ‘Like a laser. You’re a good man, Hubert Bird I can just tell.”

Ashley enters Hubert’s life like the Tasmanian Devil and before he knows it he has people in his life. People he can take a walk with round the park, people who care if he has eaten and most importantly people who can check he is ok. Yes they weren’t his Joyce but Joyce was his hello.

“It was a kiss that more than answered the question he’d been preparing to utter. It was a kiss that didn’t so much say goodbye as hello.”

So for anyone who is lonely please reach out. Yes the world is a scary place and it may seem hard at first but there are genuine people out there who care and do not want you to feel alone. And you do not need to be tech savvy or be able to use “the Facebook” in order to find those people. Start by taking those first steps, that walk around the park or that hello to the new neighbour you never know where it may end.

“Extraordinary things can happen to ordinary people like you and me, but only if we open ourselves up enough to let them.”

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