I have been very lucky with the support of many family and friends over the years. The  pain of having a loved one go missing is overwhelming and very frustrating as the days go on and there is no evidence found to explain your loved one’s disappearance. The families of the missing are in limbo between grief and hope, it’s a very strange place to be. Over the years I have discovered it can be awkward for both the families with a missing loved and their family and friends ….what to say or do when you have a missing loved one? The families of the missing loved one will often become very recluse and you may find even if you make an attempt to contact them the phone will go to voicemail(leave a message let them know you are thinking of them), the door may not be answered, and (I’m guilty of this one) pretend they don’t see you in public.  Quite often friends will avoid the subject all together, it’s very awkward.

We lost a baby son, Jonathon, in 1981.  We were living in a small town at the time and everyone knew everyone’s business and I can remember people would casually cross the street pretending not to see me, or when they did see me comment on my two others sons. “My goodness look how big their getting” or “Sure look like their dad.”  The one thing I learned from Jonathon’s death is that when you see someone for the first time after they have lost a loved one, say something. Let them know that you have been thinking about them.   But death is something we will all excperience one day, disappearing from the face of the earth is not. It’s hard because it’s not like the person has died, they are just missing. The families are suffering with frustration and anxiety but the nicest thing you can do is acknowledge that their loved one is missing, even if they shed a few tears just to hear their loved ones name mentioned is some comfort.  I read a fathers quote on his missing child “When you have a child killed you have memories, when you have a child go missing even those are gone.” It so true and life goes on with or without your missing loved one.

The last thing you want to say is “Everything happens for a reason” or “Time heals all wounds.” When you have a loved one missing the wound will never heal. How can it when part of you has disappeared as well…