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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.

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.

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

Phillip Lee LYONS, 37, Missing May 26, 2012, Kelowna, BC

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Philip LyonsPhilip went missing from Kelowna BC while he was staying at a half way house after being released from Prison in May 2012. Philip`s family reported him missing in October 2012 and advised they had not heard from Philip since he went missing from Kelowna BC. Philip`s family say it is unusual for Philip to not have contact with his family.

Philip is very familiar with the Okanagan area but RCMP advise that Philip does have family in New Brunswick.

http://bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=50&languageId=1&contentId=27701

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.

High risk Sex Offender Timothy Everett Rahm, 36, Released September 7, 2012, Moved to Kelowna, BC

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Timothy has been in an Alberta jail since 2005 for a sexual assault on a sex trade worker.He was released September 7, 2012  jail and is living in Kelowna BC. RCMP advise Timothy’s criminal record includes sex offences against females and armed robberies.

http://www.kelownacapnews.com/news/168974836.html

http://www.chbcnews.ca/sex+offender+moves+to+kelowna/6442710941/story.html

William HERMAKIN, 49, Missing April 26, 2012, Kelowna, BC

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William HWilliam took his ATV from his storage unit on April 26, 2012 in Kelowna BC and has not been seen since. William has some health issues and requires medical care.Police advise they have no idea where William could be.

 

 

UPDATE  – On April 29, 2012, a burning ATV was discovered in the entrance of  The Old Kettle Valley Railroad Tunnel near Naramata BC. Police advise the ATV was burnt very badly so it took until now to identify it. I would have thought this would have been the first ATV they would have checked into since William was reported missing three day earlier with an ATV.

 

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