Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dealing with Personal Tragedy While Helping Others

Most of us are maintaining very busy schedules and yet make time to assist on multiple missing person cases, and many of us have done so for years. Consequently, it is only natural that we have encountered our own personal setbacks and low points over these time periods. Likewise, we have also witnessed the heartache of family members and fellow searchers over many tragic endings to the searches we have been involved in.

It's important to note that we must recognize we are human, we will have personal issues that must be dealt with, and that is normal. Learning how to bounce back from such setbacks so that we can get back to searching is not so obvious. It can also help us to better support the families of those who face such heartache.

I recall a very critical moment in my life many years ago when I learned that my boyfriend at the time had been killed in a car accident. It felt as though someone had literally punched me in the chest, knocking the wind out of me. I felt as though I was still, in the middle of the eye of a hurricane, while everyone and everything continued around me as if nothing had happened. I remember thinking, "What is wrong with everyone? Don't they understand that everything is different now? Why is everything going on like normal?" I did not know how to deal with my grief, but I NEEDED and WANTED to talk about it. Unfortunately for me, no one else did. He was young and no one wanted to think about his death, to talk about it, or be reminded of it. It was a very lonely place to be.

It is the same for any of us when tragedy strikes, even if it is a missing child that we never met but have come to know over weeks, months or even years of searching. We get to know the families many times. We feel a part of what is happening, and that is normal. When the outcome is a particularly horrific one, it is even more brutal. It is senseless, and we often feel we could have done more. What we forget sometimes is how we can continue to support the family when the outcome is horrible. They need our support at that terrible time, more than ever.

It's important that we learn the skills to assist each other through these difficult times, and it is equally important that we are there for the families, in joy and sorrow.

2 comments:

Nigel Nessling said...

I just wanted to say I have the most profound respect for you and the dificult, indeed stressful work you do. I have been caught up in the sad case of Madeleine McCann for over three years now, posting on internet blogs and websites, trying to balance out some of the evil that is out there. It has truly opened my eyes to some of the depths some people will go to to 'Entertain' themselves, using the suffering of this child and her family to get their sordid kicks. I honestly believe some of them are determined to do whatever they can to actually stop her from ever being found. None the less, I have never, not once, given up hope that Madeleine may yet be found, alive, and returned to her family, and so earlier this year I joined the HTFM group, so as to do something more positive to help the McCann family. I am also a fundraiser for a British charity, 'Forever Searching' a group dedicating their spare time to raising the profile of all missing children, and campaigning for better governmental support for their families. Once again, my deepest respect to you and all the other volunteers who put aside such a significant part of your own lives to help these lost souls.

angel4thelost said...

Thank you so very much, Nigel. I am part of the Helping to Find Madeleine Campaign as well and have remained there since virtually the beginning. There are many dedicated people there working hard to bring Madeleine back to her family. I agree that there are some people out there who seem to enjoy torturing the family and exploiting Madeleine. Rest assured, however, that they are the minority and we will never allow them to drown us out. We will never give up until we find her, no matter where that search takes us and no matter how long it takes. There is too much at stake. Thank you for your support and please feel free to subscribe to my blog so you can receive updates as we go along. Your comments are certainly appreciated and welcome!

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