Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Candle of Hope

Tinsel, bells, glitter, lights, sweet songs of praise, warm  greetings between friends and family reunions, happy excited wide eyed children, anticipation, expectations, traditions, caring and sharing

These words conjure up the Christmas/holiday ‘moments of joy’ we have grown up with and know and love.  If you have been dealing with great personal loss these old sentimental moments of joy may fall upon dark hollow ground.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.  It is a faded light that replaces the warmth that once wrapped itself around you at this time of the year.  But there is hope because, like it or not, life does go on.  It is a life off kilter, spinning a little sideways from how it used to be and you may find yourself hanging on and hoping not to fall into oblivion.  But there is hope.  You can weather the storm.  It will be okay and life does go on.  You will find a balance again.  The world will always be a little different.  You may even feel you have become colder and more cynical.  Less tolerant. It’s okay.  Life will resume, just a little differently.  I imagine it is much like having lost a limb but learning to walk or write again.  It can happen with the right aides and help. Everyone gets through this in their own way, so I cannot provide a formula.  It just happens and life goes on.

I go through the motions and I do have enjoyment watching the faces of small children as they experience the magic and joy at this time of year.  It brings back happy memories of my children and the lovely times we had.  It also reminds me that one of them is missing for no reason that we can understand.  The sadness of that ambiguous loss is beyond words.
But life does go on and while it does I make the best of what I can and keep the candle of hope burning.           

Monday, December 12, 2016

Here is a blog I wrote a few years ago, I updated it, as its now 20 years on.

So This Is Christmas 
It is our 20th Christmas without Damien. 

How has Christmas changed? Totally. I used to be all about Christmas.  Loved it and planned for it. I enjoyed spending time with my children and we had our traditions that we loved every year.  Favourite shows to watch, school plays, favourite foods to prepare and decorating the house.  All the things that one does in anticipation of the wonderful unfolding of Christmas and the family joys it brings. The wonderment of little children and the squeals of delight as they see the presents under the tree.  I loved to walk home from work through town and see Christmas lights happily dangling across streets, bustling with shoppers laden with bags of holiday food and gifts, heading home as the day turned to night.  I loved Christmas and the feelings of happiness and joy were tangible.  Now we have had 15 years of loss.  Damien is gone. I don’t feel the joy anymore. We have a hole in the center of our family and we don’t know why.

After Damien went missing in November 1996 we went about our usual preparations, but instead of joy, I felt fear.  The tree was trimmed and presents were purchased and placed under the tree. We waited every day for the sound of him coming home, but it never happened.  We honestly thought he would be home by Christmas.  It was unthinkable that he would not be found by then. 

This was the beginning of the new, changed Christmas. The joy was gone and I tried ever so hard to keep it all together for my other children.  I did all the same things. School plays and festivals and shows and traditions. But I was quaking inside with sadness. I felt guilty the second Christmas doing anything because he was not here.  It was clear he was nowhere to be found and probably would not be walking through the door.  But for the children’s sake we went through the motions.

I think that is how Christmas has become…going through the motions and trying oh so hard to ‘feel’ the joy, but quietly and methodically avoiding the knowledge that this is all for show and there is no joy at all, not as I knew it.  Putting on a good face and making it the best that I can for the children.  I listen to the Christmas music old and new. I am trying to muster a tiny tiny glimmer of feeling, but it is gone and I am numb. No matter how many Christmas programs I watch, it is gone. 

I have grandchildren and I watch the shows with them that I watched with their daddy and his brother Damien, and his sisters.  I am trying so very very hard to feel something, but it is just so difficult to find any feelings at all.  I am numb. I love to be with the grandchildren and watch little faces…. but still - I am numb.  I think every soft mushy, tender, soppy, warm, happy, gushy, sentimental feeling is gone.  

I feel content the grandchildren are excited. I am satisfied that my effort to continue to do Christmas has given my children the desire to continue with the traditions and enjoy the anticipation of the season with their own children.  I hope I saved Christmas for them a bit by not giving up completely but by making the best of a bad situation and doing the right thing for those left behind to cope with the loss of a loved, cherished child, and brother.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Little Red Robin who sees all...

The Little Red Robin who sees all....

My day starts at 4:30 a.m, or earlier.  I go to the gym for 45 mins to an hour.  I call it my office, because while I am on the treadmill or bike I am checking email, talking to people on FB about Damien, the case and passing along information.    I go to work, immerse myself in that, surfacing briefly to check messages if I hear my cell phone pinging, though have to turn it off or I would be glued to it instead of work.  So my day goes.  When I get home I am again focused on Damien, the case and information. Yes, I am also guilty of red light texting and checking messages on the way home for lunch...every minute and moment pretty much is geared to finding Damien and the search efforts. 

I have met some very amazing people along the way.  People who  have gone over and above to try and find Damien in the woodland.  Digging in all weather, slipping in the mud, falling down, breaking ribs, being stung by.....NETTLES.... caught pneumonia.....bitten by mosquito's the list goes on!  They organized carol services, gigs, marches, vigils.  Distributed posters.  Relentlessly raised Damien's profile on social Media and  moderate his Facebook groups.  Support in general from the public who Tweet and share his profile and new articles is amazing.  The support from media has been phenomenal.  I cannot say enough about everyone.  I would love to name you all but I know you are not in this for fame or fortune and would not thank me for it, but you know who you all are.

All this effort for Damien is humbling and I wish he could know.  Maybe he does.  The little red Robin never fails to visit Team Damien's when they are working in the woods, he is never far away and makes himself known.

To everyone who has had a hand in supporting us, sharing news stories, petitions online posters or anything at all.....THANK YOUxx 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Bottom Feeders

Since Damien was featured on Unsolved on BBC Three, I have been inundated with messages of sympathy, support and snippets of helpful information surrounding the situation.

The IW is a beautiful place and filled with warm hearted decent people.

The IW is also a very small place and people tend to stick together because they are family or old friends and have loyalties.  But some do it out of fear.

You ask what fear?  I mean the ugly (physically in some cases)  underbelly that exists in the shadows, bottom feeders, under a rock types who slither out in the night to distribute their ill gotten goods.  People in Cowes will know exactly who I refer to.  No LOVE lost between 99% of the town and those scumbags who spout rubbish in their FB about their lives ruined by the case of a missing 16 year old.  Boohoo.....

These scumbags forget that way before November 1996 they were polluting the local populace with their drugs.  Bullying and beating anyone who gets in their way.  Murdering and getting away with it. Arrested numerous times, jailed, bailed, lying and cheating and stealing.  Way before Damien even came to live on the IW, they made their beds and they are still laying in them, sweaty, dirty, bed bugs and all and while they are there, spawning more just the same.....

I have read  some jumbled up addled brained comments - misspelled and shouting about everything and everyone because they are bottom feeders, always have been, always will be and will never rise above the cesspit they thrive in.  Some blather on about a program they were NOT included in, yet want slither out of their pungent lives and bask in the glow.  What do I know, it's just my opinion that they were not important enough and too small fry  of no consequence and bottom feeders.

Yes, I clocked that and I have to ask what possesses a person to want to include themselves?  Because they were not featured?  Who cares they got questioned in the past?  Shout loudly enough and someone may have to have a closer look.

Information that is in the public domain isn't private....

I also see 'likes' on the bottom feeders public comments on FB,  while they also lurk on mine.

Isn't it time that the 99% stood up and said enough?  Get rid of the blight.  Clean up the town.  Stop the devastation of the youth.

Friday, August 5, 2016

This blog is post Unsolved: The boy who disappeared. 
Parts of the existing blog were written prior to July 2016 and may have comments that seem a little odd considering the publicity that Damien has had after being featured in UNSOLVED on BBC Three.....
Please visit

This blog is post Unsolved: The boy who disappeared. 
Parts of the existing blog were written prior to July 2016 and may have comments that seem a little odd considering the publicity that Damien has had after being featured in UNSOLVED on BBC Three.....
Please visit