It is a sad fact that living in a large town or city can be one of the loneliest of experiences. Despite the many thousands or millions of people, everyone goes about their life without a glance towards or thought for any other. The result is that some people become abandoned by default. Nobody sees that they are alone and lonely, that they may need a little help or just a kind word.
Such circumstances rarely occur in areas that are more rural, where there tends to be a greater awareness of one’s neighbour and a heightened ability to know if all is not well.
The blight, which affects cities, was vividly demonstrated these past two days by successive reports of two deaths.
In the first, a forty-year-old woman was discovered in her flat in north London, some two years after her death. It is though that she died around Christmas of 2003. However, she remained undiscovered until January 2005.
The second report was of a fifty-two year old woman in Liskeard, Cornwall, who was found in her flat some three years after her death.
What is so sad, apart from the circumstances of their death and the delay in finding their remains, is that evidently nobody cared about them in life. There were no relatives who kept in constant touch, no friends who missed their contact, no neighbours who were close enough to know their routine and thereby ask questions when circumstances changed. They were alone in the world and nobody cared. Thus, they died, abandoned.
Easter is a time of Christian celebration of life. Let us use the messages of Christianity to look around and see who, of our own neighbours, is reaching out for our friendship and care. Let it be our responsibility to ensure that they do not become just another abandoned soul amidst a sea of life.