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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.

Michael Bosma, 25, Missing January 2006 from Kelowna, BC

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photo (1)The dreaded anniversary date of our son Michael James Bosma`s disappearance  is here again. It has been seven years since Mike went missing and there has been many changes in our lives but there is always an empty spot no matter what we are doing.  Mike had recently been released from the Kelowna psychiatric ward and was staying in a transition house operated by Interior Health. He went for a walk at 9 PM on January 9, 2006 and was to be back at 11 PM for medication. Mike never came back and we were contacted the next morning around 9 AM and advised Mike was missing.

We checked all the places we knew Mike liked to go but could not locate him. We were advised by Interior Health Mike had been reported missing to the RCMP but when we went to the RCMP station they had no record of his disappearance so we started a file. Somehow there ended up being two missing files on our son for a while. We contacted the media and put up posters all over town. Family and Friends took posters and hung them up all over the Okanagan Valley. It was and is surreal that our son is missing. Strange how something can feel fresh and old at the same time. Until you have someone you love go missing you have no idea of the heartache and torment that is behind the missing person cases you read about and see on TV.

We will wait for our son to come home till the end of our days.

http://footprintsattheriversedge.blogspot.ca/2011/01/011006-michael-bosma-25-kelowna-bc.html

Christmas Season and the Family of a Missing Loved One

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Christmas WishIf you know someone who has a missing loved one, please know that Christmas is one of the hardest times of the year, it’s right up there with the Anniversary Date of the Disappearance.  Most Families have some sort of Christmas  tradition, whether its decorating the tree, preparing an extravagant  dinner, or spending time with family and friends.  When your loved one is missing the tradition becomes only a memory mixed with many emotions. The hussel and bussel of Christmas can be overwhelming and sometimes quite annoying so there is a good possibility of some anger. Your life is altered forever and days like Christmas are just a reminder of the gaping hole in your life now. Think of someone you know that has lost a loved one and know the family with a missing loved one are suffering in the same  way but the grief is almost toxic for them. There is a certain amount of guilt when you grieve for a missing loved one…almost like you have given up. The future is unknown and as the year comes to an end for  the family of the missing attacks of severe grief are not uncommon. It’s a very emotional time so be prepared for lots of emotions. It’s a slow process when you have a loved one that disappears…

If you want to be kind to a family with a missing loved one, let them know that you are thinking of them and their missing loved one. Mention the missing person`s name, if you have a nice memory or a funny story  share it with them. Be prepared for tears..I know many people don’t want to make someone cry but you’re not making them cry, the fact that their loved one is missing is what is making them cry.

Recognize that  life is emotionally chaotic for the family with a Missing Loved one  and they may not be able to attend a  planned Christmas event……even if they said they were going to. When you have a missing loved one there are many triggers at Christmas time and sometimes you just want to be left alone. Be prepared for them to change their mind constantly, it is a very scattered life when you have a missing loved one, and more so at Christmas time. Don`t take it personal. They are dealing with their own personal hell of grief and the unknown.

For some people the days leading up to Christmas are harder than the actual day. This will be our sixth Christmas since our son Michael went missing from Kelowna at the age of 25.  The first years were excruciating and I feel for all the new families with a missing loved one. There is no way to sugar coat it for you. It is a nightmare day! Since we don`t have any small children we don`t feel we have to decorate or put a tree up. But that is us. Some people will choose to decorate the tree in honor of their missing loved one and I admire that…maybe one year we will do that. Others will go away for the Christmas season, another good idea and perhaps one day we will do that too.

Thinking of the many Family and Friends with a Missing Loved One.

It has been Seven Years since Rhody Lake, 80, went missing from the Sunshine Coast, BC – Family is Desperate for Answers

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The anniversary date is very hard for the family and friends of a missing loved one. As the day draws nearer memories come flooding back as you relive the nightmare. The shock and horror of having your loved disappears never goes away but in order to survive you somehow learn to live with the pain but the anniversary date is very emotionally draining.
Rhody Lake went  Missing from Sunshine Coast, BC, November 27, 2005. Rhody is 5ft 3 in, 130lbs, and has grayish red hair. This November 27th marks the seven-year anniversary of Rhody’s disappearance. She was 80 years old at the time she went missing, this photo taken just one year before. Rhody was last seen that day (Grey Cup Sunday) walking along a road near Porpoise Bay Park, two miles from her home, about 3:30pm, an hour before dusk. Snow had fallen the night before, and the next day she was seen taking two short walks in her neighborhood before noon, and in the afternoon she took a longer route, to where she was last seen. Rhody walked everyday, was a strong and experienced walker and hiker of trails all her adult life, in many parts of the lower mainland and on the Sunshine Coast. An extensive search was held for five days and nights, by land, air and sea, as well as many searches organized by family throughout the following months and years, but no clues or evidence of what happened or her whereabouts have ever been found.
Apart from being a beloved family member to her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews, and a dear friend to many, she was also well-known as an accomplished writer, artist, teacher, activist and health advocate in the communities she has lived. She held newspaper columns in the 1950’s – 1970’s for West Vancouver’s “Lions Gate Times” and Vancouver’s “Province” and “Sun”. In the 1980’s she included painting, drawing and sculpture to her passions, producing pieces many people still enjoy today. In the early 1990’s she went back to writing and accepted a position as editor of the health magazine, “Alive”. She moved from Langley to the Sunshine coast in 1998 and continued with Alive until 2001. She retired at the age of 76 and spent her time writing articles, doing art, walking, hiking, and caring for the beautiful home and garden she had built on the Sunshine Coast.
Rhody’s disappearance, and wondering what happened to her that day, remains a haunting mystery and a shocking tragedy for her loved ones. Every year when Grey Cup day approaches these feelings are triggered even more so. Her family want to honor her at this anniversary time and hope that publicity like this can help to bring answers. For more information or anything you feel could help Rhody’s case, please contact Sunshine Coast RCMP at 604 885 2266.

Life as You Know it Changes Forever when a Loved One goes Missing

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Today I had a taste of our other life…the life we had before our son Mike went missing….disappeared it seems into thin air.  I was outside putting away a few things from our patio and I opened the draw of the old dresser in the lower deck and there it was…a tidbit from the past. Candles and candle holders of all sizes…many of the candles still had a good half night left. We use to entertain…had a few people over to enjoy our private back yard. I glanced up at the hanging outside heater now covered with cobwebs and dust clinging to every corner. This heater would hum deep into the evenings  blasting its warmth as the fall nights turn colder and the  darkness came sooner and sooner. But that all changed when Mike went missing…no more lazy nights sharing laughs and stories of the days when the boys were young and full of surprises, sharing the fun stories of our  daughter and the every day amusing things that can happen with a family as close as ours. I’m ashamed to say that we didn’t take Mike’s mental illness serious enough…we had no idea what he was dealing with…oh we had a tiny taste….knew what it was like from our end…but we never really knew how shitty his life really was….but I knew he was proud…I will never forget the day I told him that welfare said that if he didn’t have enough money for groceries half way through the month the food bank was always an option.  Mike looked me square in my eyes and said I will eat macaroni and cheese for breakfast, lunch and supper before I will go to the food bank….and I totally understood where he was coming from. Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you don’t have any pride.

They say, whoever they is, that time heals all wounds. “They”are wrong. Having someone you love go missing never heals. How can it? This wound is open wide and parts are missing. Does time heal a missing limb, a paralyzed body? No and this gaping wound of our son missing will never heal… you have no choice but to learn to live  with it. I laugh now and share jokes, but not with the same zest I had. Life as we knew it will never be the same. Not sure we will ever entertain the way we use to. I never know when the sadness will over take me and shock will hit me again. All it takes is certain song  playing on the radio, the smell of a pencil freshly sharpened, and sometimes the sadness just arrives with no explanation. Its awkward for some people if you grieve….

I worry about my other children. How is this affecting their lives…. we all know we lead secret lives known only to ourselves. They have both become runners and so have I. Are we trying to run away from the fact that our son and brother is missing? Perhaps a portion of this is true. I know that after a good run I feel more capable of handling whatever life is going to throw at me….at least it feels that way. Life has a habit of throwing you some real curve balls.

It has been over six years now since our son Michael went missing at the age of 25 from Kelowna BC. This year I washed out the cobwebs and dust from my planter boxes and grew a few flowers in our back yard and patio. I enjoyed the blooms but didn’t look after them nearly the way I use to. There is a certain amount of guilt that comes into play when you start to enjoy life without your missing loved one. My life has become clouded with memories and stuff. It feels like I need to clear out my house and mind of all  the clutter. It’s a slow process and something to be done in the upcoming cold winter nights.

When you have a missing loved a part of you goes missing as well. As parents our children are always on our mind and that doesn’t change when your child goes missing…it becomes more but you have to suppress it in order to survive.

Every day I wonder if this will be the day we find out what has happened to our son. Did he really take his own life…. like so many people think? Did  he stumble unto something sinister and pay for it with  his life? It is almost certain that Mike has passed away but when you have a missing loved one there is always that little tiny ray of hope and I cling to that hope.

RCMP Spent 20 Years Searching for a Woman Who Didn’t Exsist – A DNA Data Bank for All Missing People of Canada is Needed

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20 years ago some bones were found in a Manitoba Hay Field.  The bones were approximately 15 months old and at that time were identified as a woman so police began searching all the missing women cases. Boxes of files were accumulated over the next 20 years. In 2011 the Cold Case Detectives took another look at the evidence and decided they needed another look at the body. The remains were exhumed from the Ashern Manitoba cemetary and thanks to DNA it was discovered the bones were actually that of a man. 10 months later with the help of DNA the bones were identified as that of  20-year-old Patrick Lawrence Rosner, who was reported missing in Winnipeg in 1989. This was done by comparing the DNA of Patrick to his blood relatives and is the way that a DNA Data Bank of all the Missing People of Canada could be stored. It would mean that the family with a missing loved one would know that if a body was found on the other side of Canada it would be compared to the DNA of their loved one. The family and friends of a missing person need to find out the answers as soon as possible….

The family of Patrick have been wondering and living with the anguish of a missing loved one for over 20 years. Now at least the family knows where Patrick is and hopefully there will be some answers to the many questions that are still weighing heavy on the family and friends of the 20-year-old. Patrick was in love with a girl, had a good job and got along well with his family so everyone that knew Patrick knew he did not leave on his own accord.

Hopefully this will show the importance of a DNA Data Bank for all the missing Canadians. It is the Un-Known that is the hardest for the family and friends of someone who has disappeared.

Thinking of Patrick and his family and friends….RIP Patrick.

 

There really is no such thing as moving on for the family and friends with a Missing Loved One

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Like millions of people I have a personal Facebook (as well I maintain a Facebook page –  Missing People of BC Canada ). This past week I had several “friends” post a picture of our missing son Mike on their Facebook ….it was very touching that they would think of our family when there is so much going on in their own lives… I have joined many groups and pages on face book, many that have inspirational posts …. “There is a reason for everything that happens”  or “When one door closes another door opens” or my all time favorite “Don’t let the past hold you back; Your missing the good stuff”  — but none of this applies to a family that is devastated by the disappearance of a loved one.  It’s not really as if someone has died and yet many of the sayings of a deceased love one do apply to a having a loved one disappear…. “Missing you every second of every minute of every hour of the day” or   “I dropped a tear drop in the ocean, when you find it that is when I will stop missing you”  It’s all very confusing and it’s the unknown that makes it so hard stay focused some days, to make any sort of peace with your life. When someone you care about goes missing your life is altered forever. Things that should be important just don’t even matter.

We had moved in our house about six months before our son Mike went missing at age 25 from Kelowna BC.  To say we were consumed with locating our son would be an understatement. We both were only able to sleep with sleeping pills and we were constantly on edge waiting for any news to explain our son’s disappearance.  In the meantime a nightmare neighbor had moved in. We heard a few grumblings from the rest of the neighborhood but in all honestly in the state we were in a naked marching band with fluorescent red hair could have marched past our house and we might have taken some notice only to see if they knew where our son was. In the meantime our quiet neighborhood was being tortured by a raging angry drug dealer with no respect for anyone living around him. We heard the constant music, people coming and going all hours of the day and night, the fights in the wee hours of the morning, we heard the complaints from the neighbors but we were so wound up in our son’s disappearance it just did not register that this could be an issue. Six years later we were able to understand how brutal our neighborhood had become. We joined forces with the many neighbors and working closely with the RCMP were able to solved the problem of the nightmare neighbor. It was strange to be dealing with the RCMP about something other than our missing son. We have realized that life goes on no matter if your son is missing and know that we need to start standing up for ourselves again….although we continue to miss our son every second of every day.

This year I have made an effort to take better care of myself.  When you have a loved one go missing it’s hard to care about your own health and things like a well-decorated house or yard  seem so pointless. But no matter how you react to having a loved one missing it doesn’t change anything. When your loved one first goes missing you are consumed with finding them, you would sell your soul if you thought it would make a difference.  As time goes  by and there is nothing new you feel like a deflated balloon and its hard to get that air back again but  I remind myself daily that my son would not want me to whither away and become old before my time and yet it would be so easy to do exactly that…..

Some days the grief and frustration is overwhelming and just a song or a smell can bring tears to my eyes…but I have learned to cry on the inside most of the time. I have also become a master at smiling on the outside and screaming in the inside. It’s awkward for people when you are suffering with grief, not  many people will ask anymore if there is any news of our missing son, perhaps they can see just by looking at me that there is no new news.

It has been six years and seven months since our son Michael went missing. Every day I wonder if this will be the day we find out where our son is, what has happened?  I know that we may never find out… and sadly I also know we are just one of many families that are waiting for answers to their loved one’s disappearance.

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