Monday, March 1, 2021

The Art of Patience

Living with a missing family member is incredibly difficult.  I say “living with” because we live in a twilight zone.  Not knowing if that person is dead or alive.  We cannot grieve.  We know nothing. We do not have a reason why the loved one is missing.  There is nothing tangible to define their intent to go missing.  These are the lost people who vanish out of character.  No previous episodes of going missing; not disenfranchised, marginalized, or criminalized so where do they fit into the perception of a missing person?  The family left behind learns to wear a mask of patience which comes over time.  We look like we have learned to cope on the outside.  But the fracture within a family is rarely seen or understood.  The loss of a person affects dozens of people in a community.  Like pebble thrown into a pool, the ripples get wider and wider encircling friends and family.   


Little may be done because the police make assumptions they left home of their own choice because that is easy to pigeonhole these cases.  Explaining away the missing person as just another runaway and hopefully nobody will question it.  It is perpetuated as ‘their right to disappear.’ Most missing people do return after a few days and there is data to back this up.  The rest are lost and its down to chance they may be recovered within months, years, or decades.  Many have met with a suspicious death, too late to follow any trail.  Young men especially found deceased in water after a night out.  Too often people vanish and are never seen again.  They never fit the stereotypes and should have been better risk assessed immediately.  

This is a human rights and social issue.  As those left behind attempt to come to terms with this ambiguous loss, anxiety, and depression, even suicide add pressure to already overburdened healthcare workers.   


 Website:  www.damiennettles.uk 

Author: The Boy Who Disappeared ISBN: 1789460719

Publisher John Blake Books

Goodreads/Amazon/Audible & bookshops 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

No Justice for Damien


There has been no justice for Damien.  He went out one night, waved bye mum, see you later.  I never saw him again. It’s all been said – rumors and speculation.  Police failures. Too late - some arrests and a major search proved fruitless.  A documentary opened up more questions than answers.  Were there people involved or was it gossip based on known criminality by these individuals who allegedly bragged they knew something? The police refused to comment or assist with the television film crew.  Was it because they knew what a poor job they did overall?

A few officers admitted to me it was not handled well.  Some apologized for it.  Some were belligerent.  Its now as a cold case.  Minimal communications from police who I am sure want it all to go away.

I wrote my book to put it into our own words what we suffered through.  We own this pain.   


We are not a unique family as there are so very many like us suffering the loss of a loved one who has gone missing, without an active engaged police force to stay focused on the case.  Too many other crimes that claim their time.  The missing issue, it may be assumed, are people walking away from their lives or who are in dire circumstances so leave home, which happens too frequently.  But  many are out for the evening, with friends, part company and vanish.  Those are the hardest to quantify.  Police make assumptions and valuable time is lost.  Many are found to have drowned due to proximity to canals or rivers or the sea.  Others turn out to be murdered or suspected murder.  Many cases are left  languishing on cold case shelves as unfinished business.   Families left behind to cope are living a life sentence of ambiguous loss.

 Website:  www.damiennettles.uk 

Author: The Boy Who Disappeared ISBN: 1789460719

Publisher John Blake Books

Goodreads/Amazon/Audible & bookshops