I also hate it when this happens, but for different reasons

I got an email the other day that just said, “My wife is [an MP who’s been missing for nearly 50 years]’s sister. Please contact me.”

I wrote back saying, “How can I help you?”

And he responded the next day saying he was so glad I answered; he’d emailed a lot of people and I was the only one so far who had replied. The case was still open but the police seemed to be doing nothing to investigate it, and weren’t answering his or his wife’s phone calls, were brushing them off, etc. He really didn’t know what to do and was begging for my assistance.

I’ve gotten a lot of emails like that over years and I always feel horrible about them. They make me feel terribly guilty because I can’t really do anything to help this poor guy or his sister. I’m just a private citizen who publicizes missing person cases; I have no credentials, no influence, I’m not a cop or any other kind of investigator. I can offer nothing but sympathy. I know I SHOULDN’T feel guilty for being unable to help this family — after all, I do a lot more than most people — but I do anyway. They’ve been through a lot.

I’ll refer him to Project Jason, I guess. They can provide moral support, anyway, and will understand him better than I can.

Sigh. One person can’t save the world. One of the things I’ve been trying to learn through therapy is to stop taking the weight of everyone’s sufferings and putting it on my own skinny shoulders. Maybe someday the message will sink in.