Thursday, 20 December 2012

Emotional bleed

My son has been missing for 16 years and you would think that after all this time we would be resolved in our emotions and have formed some sort of an assumption or conclusion regarding his disappearance.  The truth is that it does not work like that, at least not for all of the families of the missing that I have met over these several years.   There is no ‘closure’ and it is an open ended question and an internal emotional bleed.

Not a day goes by when Damien does not enter my mind.  It can be the middle or end of the day or in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning.  A song plays on the radio and I am in tears again with such sadness and incredulity he is actually gone from us.   

It comes when I am driving to and from work and find my mind mulling over the latest information or the latest publicity.  I feel despair in my inability to accomplish the one goal that I have set for myself and that is to find out what happened to my son.  We have an ongoing relationship with the police in his case and we are fortunate to have this.  Although this is relationship has been rocky over the years, we still have activity. Though I have had to push hard to keep up the focus and it is exhausting.   

I have also heard of many families who go for months and years with no designated police contact and no update of their missing loved ones' case.  They are silently grieving with what is known as an “ambiguous grief.”  There is no handbook and we all deal with this as best we can and in different ways. 

I feel this loss acutely and painfully every day;   more so at this time of the year when I wish that I had all my children safe and well and that a family Christmas was whole and without fracture.  I am grateful for what I have, but can never feel resolved or resigned to the loss of my child who just disappeared for no apparent reason.  Not knowing is the most difficult part.

Missing People is a Charity that deal with 100’s of families like mine and is available to help the families left behind to cope, and to advise those who have chosen to leave, or who may not know how to re-unite with their loved ones.  

By Valerie Nettles
Mother of missing Damien Nettles

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