by Todd Blumhorst
I miss my sister Veronica immensely. She left us over 20 years ago without a trace, she simply vanished. I went to bed one night and woke up the next day to a lifetime of loss and unresolved grief. She was here one minute, and then she was gone. I lamented over her disappearance and the loss. We knew who killed her most likely. We knew why he probably killed her. We just never found out where her body was hidden. She just vanished.
The turmoil takes a heavy toll upon the soul and wears you down day by day. The not knowing is what really gets to a survivor of a missing person case. I read a great saying that rings true in my case and thousands of others around this country. “It’s only murder when they find a body; otherwise it’s just a missing person.” When you have an apparent death but have no body then many questions arise and even the validation of death is difficult to accept.
I struggled for years with this unknown fate of my sister and the lack of closure kept open a void in my heart that seemed like it would never be healed. I had no body to mourn over, no grave to go lay flowers on, or any sense of being able to find peace. I would walk out to our garage and see her car sitting there like it was that night. I would go into her room and look at her things and hold them in my hand. Her worldly possessions were here for me to touch yet she was gone. I missed those moments of hanging out with her and talking to her about the mundane aspects of life. That was all gone; no more would we sit on the porch and talk about the future because there was no future.
My faith waivered greatly and I yearned for answers. One night a few months after she disappeared, Veronica came to me in a dream. It was vividly real, like I could touch her. In this dream I knew she was dead and I asked her when it would end. She said it may never end but it really didn’t matter if she was found. I was so perplexed at this dream and it was almost haunting.
A few months later she visited me in another dream. In the dream I heard someone walking on our front porch and went to open the front door. I looked down and saw her shoes and pants that were torn, dirty, and covered with leaves. As I looked up, I saw her face with her glasses shattered as she wore them. She said nothing and simply walked through me. I looked down and saw another pair of highly shined men’s shoes. As I looked up I saw her boyfriend who had been behind her. He just sent me the feeling of “Here she is.”; and I then woke up.
Several months later I still struggled with the uncertainty of her fate, and another dream formed in my sleep. Our family was all together in this dream and we had gathered for some sort of party, it was a very upbeat and happy event at my childhood home. I remember at one point in the dream my mom saying it was time to leave. As we were out on the front lawn, I noticed Veronica wasn’t with us and told mom that I needed to go get her. Mom told me no and that she needed to stay behind. I was confused as to why we were leaving her behind at the party. Mom told me to go say bye to her, so I went back in the house. When I got in the house I noticed the remaining party attendees forming a half circle facing me. I noticed for the first time that they were all family members who were already dead; in the center stood Veronica. I just stood there with wonderment and told Veronica we needed to go, she told me that I needed to go back with the rest outside and that she needed to stay behind. Veronica said she was ok and that she was being taken care of by everyone. She then assured me that we would see each other again someday and I needed to live my life and be happy.
I struggled for years to put those dreams together and make sense of them, but it was difficult to go on with the void of the unknown. What I did know was that those visits had a positive effect on my emotions. It gave me a sense of peace that I was not able to find in previous attempts to ease the pain. This got my mind stabilized enough to get a foothold again on the side of the mountain I was climbing. Many times on the journey up, I slipped and held on by my fingertips hoping grace would keep me from falling. At some points on the climb I almost let go so the pain would stop, but I kept climbing. These visits from Veronica became the ropes that kept me from falling off the face of the mountain.
As the years progressed, I began to study metaphysics and paranormal communication. I realized that many people would think I was mentally unstable for following such beliefs, but it gave me comfort for the first time in years. I began to have faith that she could hear me when I talked to her in those moments when I was alone. She started giving me more signs that she was around over the years. They leave their presence known in many ways and they are usually very subtle in nature. We as humans expect the grandeur of a spirit form appearing before us when it is usually a butterfly hanging out or a song on the radio pops on when you were thinking of them.
Over the years I have been blessed many times with the gifts of contact that she has given me. On one paranormal investigation, we even caught something touching me on my head as we stood in the dark woods. Every time I go to the park where her name is engraved, I am always visited by a butterfly that will stick around and flutter by me a few times. I pay attention more to the signs I am given by Veronica that she is still around me. It doesn’t erase the pain I am going through in losing her, but it takes out some of the sting.
The pain of her violent death will always be with me and is a part of me; that is unavoidable. I can however, find some solace in knowing that she is around me and helping where she is able. We all have our faith practices that get us through the difficult times and mine has been knowing that she can hear me and that we will see each other again someday.
Todd J. Blumhorst, Advocate,
Assistant Volunteer Coordinator
Homicide Survivors Inc.
32 N. Stone Ave. #1408
Tucson, Az. 85701