Thursday, May 4, 2017

Fractured Lives – remembering 20 ½ years on…..

I remember a big tall lad bounding out of the door, catching the door post, poking his head back through the doorway saying “bye mum, see you later”.  He fell back into the room briefly and I told him to be back by 10.30 p.m. to which he replied in a good natured way “awe, mum, I haven’t seen my friends for a week so can I stay out a bit later?”  I replied okay but no later than midnight.  Then off he loped with that big stride, and that lovely smile beaming, to the car where his dad waited to take him to his friend’s house.

Nothing untoward, nothing abnormal or ugly, just this lovely lanky 16-year-old off out to visit his pals. I never saw him again.

The next day we discovered his was missing and our lives have been fractured since.

Over the past 20+ years there have been countless other people who have gone missing but the focus seems to be fixated on a select few.  The issue is much larger.  I have met some of the most amazing people who have suffered this same loss and who have fought valiantly for just a little of the limelight for their own loved one. Not for the glory of the limelight but out of a desperation to get their loved ones face out there in the public eye, “in case”  always in the back of your mind.  “What if” this time we find them? What if we finally get a lead.  What if we finally find out what really happened?  Will someone finally come forward to put an end to our anxiety and our misery and our desolation?  We silently hope against hope even when your gut tells you that you may never know where your child is.

"Here is to all the lost and missing". 

You are are not forgotten and you are missed beyond words and many hearts are heavy with loss.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ripples in the Pond

When my son went missing our family and friends were all devastated.
You can understand the family and close friends grief, as that is the one you usually see.  However the impact on the community at large can be long and lasting too.  The friends, casual or close, are all impacted.
In our case this has become apparent several times over the years as Damien's  friends grow and mature and have families of their own.  Generally, it seems  young males have a more difficult time. They pop up once in awhile with a funny heart warming story about Damien.  They all had to deal with Damien's loss, who was one of their own, in their own way. 
Sometimes the way they deal their loss is with substance abuse, not understanding that this will never give them the emotional support or help needed. It's a spiral leading to addiction and destructive life styles.
Sadly, some took it really deeply to heart and never got over the loss.  One has to wonder if it is because they knew more than they could say.
As time goes on, we have the occasional  lull in activity and just as I feel we might not get another lead, something comes up that begs more questions.
When someone goes missing it isn't a quick fix.  If the missing person is missing for many years the community lives with that constant reminder too.  When will it end?  Probably not until we have some resolution, no way to know.
The impact on young teens when this happens is often overlooked. 
Things may have improved over how it was 20 years ago in the UK.   Counseling should be provide by schools to help younger people cope. If this is not being provided by schools now then it needs to be implemented for any kind of loss that may occur in their circle of friends and school community.