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.   


Author: The Boy Who Disappeared ISBN: 1789460719

Publisher John Blake Books

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