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Mike Bosma has been missing for 8 years from Kelowna BC

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photo (2)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.

family picture

Last family picture. Mike went missing 10 days later.

Ridiculous Amount of Missing People in BC

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May they all come homeI know it has been few months since I posted the new missing people of BC  on this blog but I am stunned at how many missing people there are to catch up on. To the point of ridiculousness!! Not sure if that is a real word but it sure sums it up! I have been posting the missing people on the Facebook page Missing People of BC daily for the past few years and someday there can be two or more people who go missing just in BC alone. I follow Missing People of Canada and it is amazing how many people from all walks of life that are missing across Canada! Thousands of people and each one of those people have someone who is desperate for answers to their disappearance. Thankfully most missing people are found safe within the first week of being reported missing.
Some people still think you have to wait 24 or 48 hours before you can report a missing adult. This is not true! Report a missing loved one as soon as you realize they are missing. Once you have reported them missing to the RCMP or your local police get the file number and contact the many missing persons sites that are on Social Media such a Facebook. This is a great way to get the public to be aware of your missing loved one. The more you get the news about your missing loved one in the pubic view the better chance you have of locating them. The first few days are the most important and details about where and how they went missing need to be known. I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep notes as soon as you realize your loved one is missing. If the hours turn into days you start to become very scattered and can forget little details that could be very important.

I am glad to see that they are focusing on some of the older cases of Missing Persons…trust me it’s not old for the family with a Missing Loved One. A person has no idea what a nightmare it is to have someone you care about go missing….until it happens.

Okanagan Women Magazine – A Mother’s Story

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Wendy BIt has been over seven years since our son Mike went missing from Kelowna BC. It still does not seem real, that this is now the norm for our family like. Life will never be “normal” again, but we are slowly adjusting to our new normal.

Until our son went missing January 10, 2006 I had no idea how many people go missing. Now I have become hyper-alert and notice when anyone goes missing. If there is one thing I have learned since our son went missing is report your loved one Missing ASAP. With the social media growing more and more everyday it is truly amazing how fast and how far a missing person case can spread in very little time. Be that squeaky wheel. Keep reminding  people your loved one is missing. And please know that most missing people are found shortly after they are reported missing. But if your loved one is not found start a face book page. Spread the word – join the many missing persons sight. I have a Missing People of BC page and there is a Missing People of Canada that has close to 50,000 members. I realty admire anyone that maintains a Missing Persons page or website. I have limited myself to BC mostly because it can be overwhelming to try to keep up with the thousands of missing people who go missing from all over the world, and yet until you have a loved one go missing you have no idea of the nightmare that so many families are living with every second of every minute of every day.

A few years after our son Mike went missing from Kelowna BC, I signed up for a Creative Writing course at the Okanagan College in Kelowna. It was something that I really needed at that point in my life and I met some amazing creative people.The writing instructor Dona Sturmanis is a very talented writer and has published many articles and very thought-provoking  poetry. I was just starting to write about the experience of having a son go missing and Dona was very interested in my story, encouraging me to write often. A friendship developed and several years ago she wrote a story for the Okanagan Life Magazine.  Recently Dona was diagnosed with breast cancer and has been fighting the battle that so many women have fought. Even though Dona was having chemo she contacted me and said she wanted to write another article about our missing son Mike. This time for a new magazine,  Okanagan Women. What an amazing woman! Here she is fighting her own nightmare battle and yet she thinks about our family and our nightmare that we are living with. I can never repay Dona for her kindness. Dona is a fighter and I look forward to our continuing friendship.

Many Changes – But Still Missing Mike

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sure miss you a lotThe past six months have been busy months for our family. So many changes as life just keeps keeping on. I have been so busy I have neglected this blog and barely kept up with my Missing People of BC Face Book. I contemplated shutting down this blog and giving up my Face Book page but now that life has calmed down some… its time to start posting again.  I feel like I have gained back some small part of me these past few months. I have started taking better care of myself, jogging on a regular basis, removing negative energy and trying to eat better.

Although we have had some very busy amazing family times the past year our son Mike was never out of my thoughts.  It has been almost 8 years since he went missing but in some ways it seems just like a few days ago. Occasionally I still like to day dream Mike will show up and our family will be whole again. I still shed tears for our missing son, although mostly in private. Occasionally when I meet someone for the first time and the conversation turns to family the tears will come. Just a little awkward – and not always a great way to meet a new person! So strange – but once the tears have poured out for a few minutes I am totally fine and can carry on a conversation.

I have learned to grit my teeth and keep on smiling even while dealing with people who think they are an expert on how we should be dealing with our sons disappearance. I have also learned to distance myself from these kind of people. The crazy thing is these same people have never  dealt with anything even remotely as horrifying as having a child go missing but feel the need to tell us to “Move on”.

Since our son went missing I have met several parents who have lost a child by a death and the pain we endure is very similar, although I really don’t think there is any one way to react to the loss of a child. It truly is unnatural to lose a child and only people who have experienced such a loss know the depths of despair a person is capable of.

Now that this much time has passed my heart  no longer sinks,  and skips a beat when a body is found that is only a day or two deceased. If there are human remains found I wait for the news but I am able to carry on with my day. My internet access during the day is very limited and I think actually its a good thing. We have to accept the fact that we may never know what happened to our son Mike.

I think the thing that really amazes me is how little people know about the many missing people all over Canada. I try to focus on BC and even that can be overwhelming at times with the amount of people who go missing. At least now with Social Media there is a way to get the news spread about a missing person to the public. Sadly some people are still falling through the huge cracks in the system, especially people with Mental Health Issues or substance abuse. If we could somehow improve our Mental Health System it would make a huge difference as to how many people would go missing.

I will try to keep up with the many Missing People of BC and will remove a person from this website if they have been found safe. I’m sure the found person and their family just want to regain their old lives back….

When a Missing Person is found

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Missing Persons 1Since I started this blog there have been hundreds of people who have gone missing in BC, and thousands more all over Canada. Thankfully most missing people are found within a few days – safe and sound. The family and friends of the found missing person having known the heartache of a missing loved one for just a short while. I have been toying around with the idea of completely removing a person from my missing blog once they have been found but also know that often people will still be listed as Missing long after they have been located. I currently have a section in my blog that lists the found missing person.
Once a person who has been missing is found safe and continues on with their life the last thing they want is to be listed as missing. This past week I was contacted by a person who had been missing and was found and who would like to carry on with their life.This is their email and I am very Thankful for this information.

“I was listed on your website as missing and later you updated that I had been located safe only days later. Yours was the only site to make this update, thank you so much for that. Now, months later I am still getting and hearing about phone calls from frightened family and friends who are coming across the various media and missing persons sites thinking I might be in danger. For this reason I would like to ask, along with my sincere thanks for your service, that the posting regarding myself, be removed from your site to allow everyone to move forward. I have been successful with a handful of sites so far, and left yours to last purposely because it contained the update. Now, Global BC has made an update and I am trying to have the last bits taken down. I sent a message to “unsolved.ca” and their response was to update the story and leave for a day for their sites followers to see and then removed the posting. Since your site has had the update for months I hope that you could just remove it right away and let it be done. I also have to consider that any time my name is googled, this is what people (family, friends, potential employers, anyone..) are going to see.”

I will be updating each found missing person case by removing them from this site. Sadly there are many people who are not found safe and many that have been missing for years. I would like to focus on the missing people. I believe the average person has no idea how many people go missing, from all walks of life…

I currently have a Missing People of BC Facebook and try to remove the posting of the missing person as soon as I hear about it and will do the same with this website. For the many families and friends who have had a Missing Loved One Found, I am always very happy to hear someone who is missing is found and safe!

Please if you know one who has been found email me at wenswritings@hotmail.com

The RCMP have started a National Website for the Missing People of Canada. There are currently only a small percentage of the thousands of Missing Canadians posted on the RCMP web site but it is a start.

RCMP Have a New Website Dedicated to Missing People of Canada and Unidentifed Remains

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missing personsI was so glad to see the announcement the RCMP have started a Website for the Missing People of Canada and Unidentified Remains. There are thousands  of Missing People in Canada and over 7000 unidentified remains. I checked right away if I could find our son Michael Bosma who has been missing since January 10, 2006 on the site but he is not listed.  This is obviously a work in progress but it is a great step in the right direction however we still desperately need to have a Missing Persons DNA Data Bank for the Many Missing People of Canada. Many people are surprised there is NO DNA Data Bank for the thousands of Canadians that have been missing for years.

When you have a missing loved one the worst part is the unknown. The grieving process is a lot longer because its hard to grieve without feeling guilty…like you are giving up on finding your loved one. Your life is changed forever and even though you do eventually get on with your life your missing loved one is always in the back of your mind. You still have bad days..Anniversarys, birthday and any special occasions there are many tears, both shed and unshed. You learn to cry on the inside and you learn to carry on but if your loved one is found and you can bring them home I think there would somehow be some peace. I don`t know because our son has been missing now for over 7 years. Many people will talk about closure but is there really closure when you have lost a loved one?

It breaks my heart when I see a missing person in the media or posted on Facebook because I know the nightmare the family is living with.  Thankfully most missing people are found within the first day they are listed as missing. As time goes on and the days turn into weeks, then months and years its hard to stay positive and you finally have to admit that your loved one may never come home.

Hopefully  this new RCMP website for the Missing People of Canada will solve some of the Missing Persons cases and give a family a little peace.

 

DNA DATA BANK PETITION http://www.gopetition.com/petition/41301/signatures.html

Horrible Choices – When do you scale back the search of your Missing Loved One?

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emma 2Emma Fillipoff, 26, has been missing since Nov. 28, 2012 from Victoria, BC.  Emma’s mother,  Shelley Fillipoff has been searching for her daughter ever since. It has been over five weeks  since Emma went missing and Shelley is at the cross-road of deciding to scale back the search. This is a very hard decision to make and everybody has to do what works for them. There is no right or wrong choice, just horrible choices.

When your loved one first goes missing you are running on adrenaline, surviving on limited sleep and lots of coffee. Handing out Missing Posters of your loved one is a horrifying  gut wrenching experience. It is just so wrong!

Social Media is a great way to spread the news of a Missing Person, which Shelley  has made excellent use of resulting in a  lot of awareness of Emma’s disappearance.

 

http://www.facebook.com/MissingPeopleBC?ref=hl#!/HelpFindEmmaFillipoff?fref=ts

Read more:

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Ontario+woman+faces+difficult+choice+about+whether+search+daughter/7768022/story.html

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