This is a very rough day for families of the missing. I have no idea how they cope with it. In different ways, I suppose. Perhaps some of them leave an empty chair at the dinner table, a present marked for their MP under the tree. Perhaps some families never mention the lost person’s name, but they remain conspicuous by their absence.
I don’t have any members of my family who are missing, but my brother Brian died in 1988 while still in his teens. Car accident. No one ever talks about him. He’s not exactly a taboo subject, it’s just that no one brings him up. I know Mom and Dad think of him often but they’ve said there’s no point in talking about him because it won’t bring him back. He was never mentioned this Christmas Day, though I’m sure my parents and my older siblings were carrying him around in their minds. In some ways I feel lucky that I was too young to really remember Brian, too young to remember that tragedy and the grief.
For me, so far things are going fine. Much better than yesterday.