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.