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Mourning Someone Who Is Missing

Category: 

Bereavement Relief

Posted On: Mar 24, 2017

Mourning Someone Who Is Missing

There is nothing like the terror of losing someone but not knowing what's happened to them. The person you love is just gone. Whether they've been missing for months, years, or decades, there's a total lack of closure, and so in a way, the terror never ends. At the same time, over such a long stretch, you almost become numb to the background buzz of fear. Unfortunately, that numbness penetrates everything.

The Question of Bereavement Itself

Can you ever mourn? Should you? Are you admitting defeat if you allow yourself to grieve? When someone is lost, but not dead, their whereabouts unknown, you are never quite sure where to turn. Your emotions are at war with each other. It can feel like you're actually betraying your lost loved one by mourning, as if you're saying there's no hope that the missing person will ever be found alive.

The Battle Between Feelings

You have to hope. Whether your loved one went missing because of a tragedy, because s/he left home, or because s/he is serving in the military, you have to hope that s/he will come back. Still, how can you not grieve your loved one's presence? Every reminder of her or his absence reminds you that something vital is missing from your life. Hope and grief fight against each other so hard. You may get tired of hoping, or become numb to it, but it's still so painful to give in and grieve.

The Impossibility of Letting Go

How can you ever let go of someone you love if you don't know they're truly gone? At some point, however, you have to let go. You can still hold onto hope, but at some point, you have to give up your loved one to fate. By doing that, you aren't saying there's no hope. You are just giving yourself the opportunity to grieve by admitting that you cannot do anything more. You can pray fervently for the best outcome while grieving your loved one's presence in your life.

The lack of closure is one of the most difficult things with which to deal. Not knowing someone's fate is almost worse than death. Have you ever had such a devastating experience?