Today marks 8 years since our son Michael Bosma went missing from Kelowna BC. Never in my wildest dreams could I have thought up this nightmare we are now living with. Looking back I realize the pain is not any less but somehow as a family we learned to live with this heart ache and hopeless feeling….most days. The anniversary of Mike’s disappearance is a very hard day and Christmas was difficult again this year…still unable to set up a tree. Perhaps next year will be better although I have said this for the past 8 years or maybe we will just never have a tree again.
Sadly many more families are now experiencing our nightmare and living with the un-known. No matter how your loved one has gone missing and what circumstances it is still very painful. As a parent our children are constantly on our mind no matter what age they are and so our sons disappearance is constantly with me where ever I go.
I have discovered I cannot talk to someone new about Mike’s disappearance without shedding a few tears so meeting new people is a bit of a challenge. Inevitably people will ask if you have children and if I mention Mike the tears will flow and if I don’t mention Mike then I feel guilty for not including him….I am pretty sure I come across as an odd person at times.
Because Michael suffered from Mental Illness ( and trust me Mental Illness causes a lot of suffering) the easy explanation is that he took his own life, which in itself is a whole new horror. But there has never been any evidence of that – his body has never been found - and Mike is not the only young, vibrant, healthy man to go missing. Since Michael went missing almost 100 other young men have gone missing in BC alone. Thankfully most of these young men are located but I am constantly amazed at how many people go missing and how little we hear about them. If your lucky your Missing Loved One makes the headlines for a few days. When Mike went missing I wanted to stand on the highest mountain top and scream for all the world to hear My Son is Missing!
Please know if you have a loved one go missing you DO NOT have to wait to report for 24 or 48 hours. Report the disappearance to the RCMP or your local police and get a file number. Contact the media and the many missing persons sites on Social Media and include the file number. It’s a good idea to keep notes on who you have contacted about your missing loved one and if your loved one is found please update the media you have contacted. Get a notebook and write any information you can think of…if your loved one remains missing you quickly become very scattered and the notes will help. Usually when someone is reported missing and it hits the media they are found within a few days…they are the lucky ones. If your loved one is still missing contact the media and update them with any new news. Sadly a missing person quickly becomes old news if there is nothing new to report.
We have learned to resign ourselves to the fact that we may never know what happened to Mike but our memories of him will live on with our family forever.
Last family picture. Mike went missing 10 days later.