The man lost his wife earlier this year and says he cannot travel to Australia to meet his son
Christmas is a time for coming together and spending it with the people we love. But that isn’t always possible, and for many, the stress and loneliness this time of year can be a little overwhelming. But asking for help and support at this time of year can sometimes wield wonderful results.
Across the Irish Sea in Prestwick, near Manchester, a man reached out to the public so that he could find some company this Christmas. Identifying himself only as Raymond, he reveals that he lost his wife earlier this year, and that his only son lives in Australia, a journey neither of them is able to make this year.
Posting a message on Facebook, Raymond says:
“I have been gaining the courage to write this so here goes...
“I lost my wife earlier this year, and I am dreading this first Christmas without her. Our only son is now grown up and has a family of his own, lives in Australia and is unable to get back here to spend Christmas with me - I can’t get on a plane to travel that far to see him.
“I don’t want to be a burden but are there any community meet ups on Christmas Day where I can go and meet others so I don’t have to spend the day eating my dinner alone?
“Any help would be much appreciated. I am in the Prestwich area. Regards, Raymond.”
His post became a viral hit, with hundreds of people sharing it on and responding with invitations to spend the holiday with them, or simply offering messages of support and encouragement.
“Raymond... I know about that first Christmas alone without your wife,” one woman said. “I am on my 3rd this year without my husband.
“Please accept one of the very generous offers from out marvellous Prestwich people. Distraction is the one thing that helps weaken our grief and living alone for the first time in our lives.”
The Manchester Evening News reports that Raymond has yet to respond to the outpouring of offers he has received, but that the Facebook group is suggesting that those who reached out to him should keep elderly relatives or neighbours in their thoughts and pay them a visit this Christmas.