Thursday, April 14, 2011

Is There Hope When A Loved One Is Missing?

By Cynthia Caron

When a loved one goes missing it is important to always offer hope. Even when the circumstances may appear to look grim, who are we, as people, to decide for a family of a missing loved one that "things will not be good?" We cannot determine an outcome will for surely be a bad one.

Hope is what makes life bearable when times are difficult and more so when one is living with the fear of what has happened to their missing family member. It is important, that no matter how difficult it may be, to maintain hope. This can be achieved by surrounding oneself with caring people who are there to listen, comfort them, provide a shoulder to lean on and offer hope. Hope is a definite positive.

Love can create hope when families see none. This is such a profound statement and is most especially important for those having so many unanswered questions with aching hearts of needing to be able to hold and know their loved missing is safe. While nobody can change what may have already happened, we can help the family keep their stamina through hope. No, we cannot provide a miracle, but we can provide love. There are a number of ways that friends, extended family and colleagues can offer to help the family. One can offer to help hang missing posters in the community for the family or even simple offerings of bringing dinner to the family or help with babysitting. Every gesture is appreciated and the more love the family receives the easier it is to bear with their pain and fears.

Hope is expectation moderated by realization that nothing is certain. This is so true and we’ve all seen cases in which a missing loved was located safely that we surely thought was not going to have a good outcome, as well as those we felt would be located safely and were not. Again, we are mere mortals and nobody can guarantee an outcome with certainty.

The belief in a positive outcome, is hope. Therefore, nobody should ever tell a family of a missing loved one that hope does not exist and certainly not by law enforcement or any advocate who work with families of missing. Hope is an emotion, a needed bar to grab onto when one feels they may fall. It is what enables all humans to wake each morning to face another day. Nobody has the right to ever take away another person’s hope.

If you believe in miracles, then hope always exists. No matter how grim, no matter what the evidence may suggest it has happened time and again in which miracles have happened. Even those who may not be religious have to admit that they’ve seen, read or heard of miracles in which a positive outcome came from a very grave situation.

Hope is faith. While I personally believe hope is faith, not everyone holds a religious perspective and so I would like to say that for those who do not have the same belief as I, to think of your hope as a personal journey, within yourself, to whatever place in your mind that you can go that helps to bring out the positive encouragement for yourself and your family. Faith can be from your personal religious beliefs, or can be from your own self-positive comforting measures.

The light within us is hope that pierces the darkness of doubt, fears and discouragement. Think of infants that are just learning to walk. Do they have hope? Absolutely! They have doubt, fears of falling and even may feel discouraged but something within them, some may call it determination but I call it hope…hope and the excitement on their faces when they toddle a few steps with their arms raised and always with a smile on their faces. So when things look bleak, when all may seem ominous know that as long as you have hope…the days ahead will be more manageable.

Always hope. Should things turn differently there will be plenty of time for sorrow.


  1. There is hope. My disabled brother was missing for 2 months. He left a group home in Miami and WALKED through the everglades to get back to family on the west coast of Florida. It is still hard to fathom how he survived on his own during this time. Don't ever give up hope.

  2. Thank you for your comment on the post. What an amazing story, I'm so happy for you that it had a happy ending.


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