Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Something is not working!

And still they keep on coming – one after the other after the other.

Smiling faces, some full of hope and optimism, some not quite so cheerful, but every one has a story and belongs to someone.

For 21 years we have searched for our missing son and in the process encountered more faces than I can ever remember from all over the world.  Lost souls.  Some come up so many times I get to know a bit about them and have even met their families left behind to cope.  Some are found alive, others are not.  Others like my son are never found and we just do not know what their fate is.
But 21 years and they are still coming – disappeared without trace – out of character – some appeals are big and reach huge audiences but others don’t.
When does one give up?  Never.
If, in the early days everything that can possibly be done IS done then there is fair chance at finding them or what may have happened.
21 years on and social media is a huge asset in getting the story to as many people as possible – but still they come!  Face after face and one has to ask how so many can vanish and their cases languish on a dusty shelf – forgotten.
I am calling for a law that will ensure all cases get the best shot from day one with better risk assessment, especially for young males.
Check out our manifesto and if you think this is a way forward please add your signature – anyone anywhere can sign it. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I never knew you at 17 years old….

You are going to be 37 years old soon and a whole lifetime has passed you by and cheated us out of the joy of watching you grow into the great human being I know you could have been.

It is very hard to come to terms with that idea.

I feel like you’re still with me because I still have not felt that I can let go of you.  You are my child and you vanished for no apparent reason.  When this happened we were are all shell shocked.  In way this is akin to PTSD although nobody ever really thought about it in that way, not for a long time. It does make sense.  I can only speak for myself.  I was in shock for so long and still am to a degree.  I have learned to live with this though still carry around a pain in the depth of my soul.  There are no words to describe this feeling.  I can’t leave you behind and I spend my life thinking about you and searching for answers.

I wonder what my life would be like if I only had to fret about how you’re doing at work or about your life in general.

I carry you still.  I feel the weight of this in my heart and wonder how much longer I can keep this up?

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.