01
May
08

When is it time to say goodbye ?

Morning, afternoon, evening, Peter Dobbie here with news of todays World Have Your Say, on air at 1700 GMT :o)

The reason we’re asking that question is because it’s a year since Madeleine McCann went missing while on a family holiday in Portugal. Madeleine’s parents – Gerry and Kate – have made fresh appeals for information in the run up to that first anniversary. Gerry McCann said they had always hoped they “would not get to this stage”.

His wife said the key message was that Madeleine was still missing, she had been the victim of a “horrific crime” and the perpetrator was “out there”. They told the BBC they kept hope alive because Madeleine was “so important” to them that they would never give up.

The McCanns have put an amazing amount of energy into keeping their campaign alive over the past 12 months – they’re now concentrating on a warning system for missing children. The couple travelled across the continent, appealing for help in finding their daughter.

So far, France and Greece are the only EU countries to have introduced full alert systems along the lines of the American Amber scheme which involves immediate broadcasts on radio and television about missing children and information about possible suspects.

But when does the time come to move on?

Does there come a point when the family of someone who’s missing must accept what’s happened ? Can a family survive the kind of emotional stress that must be involved in losing someone, without saying goodbye. Do they have to assume that the person has died, to safeguard their own emotional wellbeing ? The McCanns have now attained a kind of celebrity, for them, and indeed for anyone else who’s lost a relative, is that celebrity worth it, if it keeps hope alive ? Or, at what time, does hope die, and become something else ? Once we accept that there is no hope, is that when we begin to find comfort ?

Let us know what you think.


78 Responses to “When is it time to say goodbye ?”


  1. May 1, 2008 at 14:09

    Does there come a point when the family of someone who’s missing must accept what’s happened ? Can a family survive the kind of emotional stress that must be involved in losing someone, without saying goodbye. Do they have to assume that the person has died, to safeguard their own emotional wellbeing ?

    I think this is all dependent on the person and situation. Different people act and react in different ways and deal with emotions in different ways. I can’t immagine the emotional trauma that would be brought on from dealing with a situation such as this. I think the most important thing is that however they chose to deal with their situation, that they do so in a emotionally healthy way and they have a strong support structure to deal with the loss.

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  2. 2 Omunyaruguru
    May 1, 2008 at 14:49

    Hi WHYS team. this is a great topic and I hope we can have the views of experienced psychologists. Am looking forward to the discussion.

    Omunyaruguru, Uganda

  3. 3 Robert Evans
    May 1, 2008 at 15:03

    I feel that after one year of her being missing in Portugual that there is almost no chance of her being found. I know that the parents probily don’t want to hear this but it is almost certainly be better for them to move on but still remembering their child Madeline. Although I would just like to say that last summer that they held a remarkerable Media campaine to get information about their daughters disappearance.

    I think that I am rignt in saying that the entire world is still wioth them at the first annversery.

  4. 4 Nick in USA
    May 1, 2008 at 15:22

    Never give up. If the perpetrator is still out there. I’m thinking it’s not really about the girl anymore. I’m sure they’d like some closure on the issue, but I’d guess the focus is now on preventing this from ever happening to another family. If there is a chance that they could protect another family by getting this guy off the streets and raising awareness, then I would say that’s a cause worth dedicating your whole entire life to.

  5. May 1, 2008 at 15:25

    The loss of a beloved person is a dreadful experience especially if that loss is enshrouded with mystery and suspense. The case of Madeleine McCann has travelled around the world. Morocco was in the news on two occasions when they visited it to launch a campaign to help them find her http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6739893.stm . And second when a blonde girl photographed in Morocco is not missing Madeleine McCann http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7014886.stm . These are just examples of the frustrations undergone by the parents.

    Generally, it is hard to get out of one’s mind a lost person about whom there is no valid information. Seeking to forget isn’t a perfect remedy as the memories of that person come up from time to time. For parents, it’s not easy to substitute a missing child with another. Whatever the number of children they can have, the missing one is always there. The other children can be a comfort for them but not a total remedy because the missing child is still an integral part of them.

    For Madeleine’s parents, celebrity is achieved, but not in the desired way. They can create of a worse situation a better situation for the others who may undergo the same experience by concentrating on a warning system for missing children. But the image of Madeleine will be still in their mind. It is sad to see them have their life ruined, living with a troubled mind that the passage of time can’t cure.

    It’s difficult for the parents to say goodbye in the absence of conclusive information. Saying goodbye is an acquiescence/ resignation that it is all over. For them, “see you soon” will be the repeated phrase.

    Good luck to them and to all those in the similar situation.

    Abdelilah Boukili
    Marrakesh, Morocco

  6. May 1, 2008 at 15:25

    As it turns out, looks like you shouldn’t give up hope for 24 yrs at least. Especially, if you live in Austria.

  7. May 1, 2008 at 15:30

    I have been on holiday to Praia de Luz a number of times before Madeline was taken and I have been since. The last time i was there was when Kate and Gerry were named official suspects in the case of their daughters disappearance.

    The day before the story broke Praia de Luz was exactly as it has always been, a beautiful friendly family resort with a great beach, fab restaurants and a nice atmosphere. After they were named suspects within 6 hours there were approximately 30 broadcast trucks parked all over the town. There were journalists all over the beach, desperately trying to get comments from local people who feel their world has been turned upside down by this terrible tragedy. In some instances they were very aggressive, all desperately seeking a new twist in the Maddie saga.

    Although initially I think Gerry and Kate’s intentions in raising the profile of their missing daughter were honourable and right, the media frenzy which has surrounded the case now has disrupted their lives beyond redemption. What damage can the media spotlight do to their other children? It has destroyed the life of the other official suspect Robert Murat (i personally think the only reason he remains an official suspect is the protection this gives him from aggressive hostile media intervention)

    I am not saying that the abduction of Maddie isn’t tragic. It’s a horrible thing to happen to any family, but scaling down the amount of public attention on the McCann Family needs to happen.

    Like Praia de Luz unfortunately things need to move on.

  8. 8 Joanna, St. Louis, MO
    May 1, 2008 at 15:45

    I don’t think it’s ever time to say goodbye. There was a child found in Missouri after 8 or so years. I think you should never give up hope. It’s only been a year. She probably still looks the same or similar as the day she went missing. Keeping her face in the public eye keeps people’s minds fresh. You never know when or where someone may see this little girl and recognize her from the pictures. I personally don’t mind getting these emails from people missing children or seeing their faces on the news. This is really their only hope at this point, that someone who saw a picture will happen to cross paths with the person who kidnapped their daughter. If it were my child, I would be just as persistant and stop at nothing to find her or find closure.

  9. 9 Janet T
    May 1, 2008 at 15:53

    As a parent I don’t think I’d ever give up- looking into every face, everywhere I went. Until there is hard and fast evidence of a death, you have to hope. There have been recent cases here in the US of kids missing for years that were found and reunited with parents. I think the question is when do you give up “actively” searching and trying to keep the media interested?

  10. May 1, 2008 at 15:56

    The loss of a beloved person is a dreadful experience especially if that loss is enshrouded with mystery and suspense.

    Generally, it is hard to get out of one’s mind a lost person about whom there is no valid information. Seeking to forget isn’t a perfect remedy as the memories of that person come up from time to time. For parents, it’s not easy to substitute a missing child with another. Whatever the number of children they can have, the missing one is always there. The other children can be a comfort for them but not a total remedy because the missing child is still an integral part of them.

    For Madeleine’s parents, celebrity is achieved, but not in the desired way. They can create of a worse situation a better situation for the others who may undergo the same experience by concentrating on a warning system for missing children. But the image of Madeleine will be still in their mind. It is sad to see them have their life ruined, living with a troubled mind that the passage of time can’t cure.

    It’s difficult for the parents to say goodbye in the absence of conclusive information. Saying goodbye is an acquiescence/ resignation that it is all over. For them, “see you soon” will be the repeated phrase.

    Good luck to them and to all those in a similar situation.

    Abdelilah Boukili
    Marrakesh, Morocco

  11. May 1, 2008 at 15:59

    The parents said goodbye to her when they went out to dinner that night and left their kids unattnded to.

    Mo
    Hempstead, NY
    USA

  12. 12 Anthony
    May 1, 2008 at 16:03

    I have a son who just turned 7 today, and I would NEVER give up. I would do whatever I needed to get his face on EVERYTHING. If my son was abducted, I WOULD DIE to find him. If there was a .001% chance I could get him back, I would do ANYTHING!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  13. 13 Omunyaruguru
    May 1, 2008 at 16:40

    hope is the last thing a human being looses. The reactions to lost hope are varied and there is a great need for good professional counselors to help in the transition stage. Keeping the hope of finding their daughter doesnt mean the family cannot move on. You can move on in life and still keep hope alive. I have moved on in my life after one of my parents disappeared 22 years ago this may. I still hope to find them one day, but for now life must go on.

  14. 14 selena
    May 1, 2008 at 16:51

    This is not an easy topic! The family and those involved can never recover. But there must come a time to move on. There are other children and, as Hannah mentioned, another life has been torn apart, that of Robert Murat. He must surely remain under a cloud for the rest of his life.

    My heart goes out to the family. Having lost my brother suddenly, when he was 18 years of age, I understand the toll tragedy takes on families. The heartbreak does not lessen much with time. But one does learn to cope.

    There is also another, seldom mentioned, side to this story. There are countless children abducted each and every day across the globe. Who is speaking for them?

  15. May 1, 2008 at 17:00

    Never lose hope… To hope is to live… If you lose hope that means you’re dead ! With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  16. 16 viola anderson
    May 1, 2008 at 17:14

    The parents of the abducted child must take as much time as necessary to grieve, rage, and search for their daughter. If it takes their entire lives, so be it. After a reasonable period of time, however, the media should drop it because, sad as it is, their child’s abduction is, for the rest of the world, only one of a multitude of sad stories. Should the child ever be found and returned to her parents, or proof of their child’s death, it should then be reported in the media.

    Police forces should not prematurely drop such cases that are not readily solved.

    The only comfort available to those who have lost a loved one is the sure knowledge that the lost one is not suffering. When the lost have disappeared rather than died, even that thin comfort is unavailable.

  17. 17 nicholas kariuki muthaara
    May 1, 2008 at 17:16

    there will be no time when those parents will lose hope on finding their baby.i feel 4 them.

  18. 18 Katharina in Ghent
    May 1, 2008 at 17:20

    @ Dwight:

    I think the case that is closer to this one is the one of Natascha Kampusch, also in Austria. She was abducted at the age of 10, in broad daylight, and everyone thought she was dead, except her parents, especially her father, who kept searching for her and even a few weeks before she escaped had another pond dug up in order to possibly find her remains. So you should wait at least 8 years…

    I think that as a parent, if this happens to one of your children, you will never lose hope until the case has been solved one way or the other. They have to move on and keep living their lifes, for the younger children, but they will never stop thinking about what they lost. If the police had found the body, then at least they might get some sort of closure, but this is basically the worst case scenario. Hope dies last, but I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

  19. 19 Rudolph in Antigua
    May 1, 2008 at 17:24

    it all depends on the person. because not everyone can just give up on a love one like that. some people will hold on till they take their last breath. if it was a cousin or someother relative that is not close maybe then it would be possible but the bond between parents n child is too strong to just give up on finding that child just like that.

  20. 20 Scott Millar
    May 1, 2008 at 17:41

    + Person and situation—as Brett indicated. This of course could be said about most situations. Sometimes crazy obsessive behaviour may have good returns on the investment. Chances are the obsessed may have a higher success rate simply because of the extreme devotion of time. But, this doesn’t mean the personal emotional toll is necessarily worth the outcome. Like many things in life, its a gamble; the luck of the draw. Part personalities, part circumstances—mostly chance.

    – Portland, Oregon

  21. May 1, 2008 at 17:41

    I dont think that because they left their child alone justifies the fact that she was kidnapped/ went missing.

    In my earlier piece i wasnt suggesting the loss of hope either. But surely there must come a point, when the price of celebrity and the media attention is to high?

    You have to move on with your life for the sake of the rest of the family, but that doesnt mean giving up hope.

  22. 22 Roberto Carlos - Miami Florida
    May 1, 2008 at 18:07

    I have been through that many times in life. I think there is never a time to say goodbye.

  23. 23 kwabena
    May 1, 2008 at 18:10

    So long as there is no news of a missing person’s whereabout, we must not give up hope. Hope is the only true friend of man.

  24. 24 Tracy - Portland
    May 1, 2008 at 18:12

    You never truly can let go of someone you have lost. But to never have the closure of truly knowing they are dead. I cannot imagine the unresolved open wound that leaves on your soul. My heart and prayers go out to the McCann Family.

  25. 25 Andrew - Australia
    May 1, 2008 at 18:12

    The problem with such cases as the McGann’s is that without direct evidence that the girl had been murdered and is dead, then hope will always remain alive that Madeleine might return safely. In that case no one would want to give up hope and say goodbye. It is something that people will always cling to, often to keep themselves going and equally, to prevent themselves from considering an inevitability that their loved one is dead. As we have seen lately, cases arise where a missing person has turned out to be a kidnapping and confinement. Of course if that same party is the guilty one (as happens) then they would not want to show their hand by so readily giving up hope and maintain the charade.

  26. 26 Allan, Ohio
    May 1, 2008 at 18:13

    I don’t think you can ever move on. I think it’s important not to give up hope, but don’t make it your life. When the law enforcement tells you, they done everything in their power. I think it’s time to go back to carrying on with your life.

  27. May 1, 2008 at 18:14

    It’s a very personal tragedy, and I don’t know how right we are in making generalisations. Only those who have gone through such grief will ever know how it feels. I’d see it this way: coming to terms with the present doesn’t mean giving up hope. As it was pointed out above, there have been cases where missing people have come back after many many years. But it’s at the same time it’s important for the parents to move on in life. The clock of life just can’t stop. It’s a difficult balancing act that is so easy for all of us to preach.

  28. 28 Rob - Tomball, Texas
    May 1, 2008 at 18:17

    I don’t know how you can ever say Goodbye to your child, even when they are dead and buried of natural causes. You have to move on with life, of course, but how do you fathom the beginning and end of your childs life. As for those children who have vanished and there seems to be no end of their story I don’t know how you would ever give up hope of a reunion. I could not do it.

  29. May 1, 2008 at 18:20

    “You say hello and I say good bye. .”

    We are just not passers by. We are in the world forever. You may not have the ability to engulf your senses in what you have in other times but that is not a reason to say good bye.

    Love you can not allow yourself to end it. Love cannot be abandoned to maintain to be a humane and human being. Never ending Love is the only form of Love we can ever hope to possess.

    Love is not just the tending to words but emotions and the actions that go alone with it. The Love for Life, is the precious substance we must always maintain and never allow it to dwindle away.

  30. 30 Will Rhodes
    May 1, 2008 at 18:34

    Personally I could never give up.

    Ben Needam – almost 20 years

  31. 31 selena
    May 1, 2008 at 18:38

    I don’t understand faith. It makes me wonder where god was in the life of the abducted or lost person?

  32. 32 Rick - Prague, Czech Republic
    May 1, 2008 at 18:39

    I know this is very esoteric, but I think it can be helpful for those missing loved ones to mind their own dreams.

    I know from people who lost loved ones or had them go missing during World War II and couldn’t trace them/discover their fates sometimes for years, that the people often appeared to them in their dreams and told them what had happened.

    As an example, Wladislaw Szpilman, the famous Jewish-Polish pianist about whom the film “The Pianist” was written had a dream shortly after his parents and siblings were sent off to die at a concentration camp. The brother told him that they had all been killed. This later turned out to be true.

    So, I would suggest the parents and loved ones of the missing mind their dreams carefully. They can give clues about the missing person’s fate and perhaps even about how to find him/her.

    All the best,

  33. 33 Teresa-Mary Baran
    May 1, 2008 at 18:40

    According to the work I did on Evolutionary Psychology the overriding desire to continually search for missing relatives is a direct result of the evolved adapted problem solving hard wired brain generates this intense activity. If you look at human family and extended family in the light of evolutionary time and environment: Most people were related to everyone in their group, the most important information is that which keeps your relatives alive, almost all activity was part of this group. Threats from outside your group were very dangerous to all of your relatives.

    The result of eons of selection has given humans this behavior to “never give up”. In the evolutionary context, this was a very very successful behavior. It would have almost always given some information about the threat, your group and the relationships between members and their intentions and conflicts.

    If you want to have a meaningful discussion, I suggest you look at the very hard wired roots of behavior.

  34. 34 Allison Sliter
    May 1, 2008 at 18:40

    Several years back, two girls went missing from the same block in a suburb of Portland, Oregon (my town). They went missing in Oregon City, OR in 2002 about a month apart and for a full year, there was no leads. It was not just the family of these two girls that felt their absence, but the whole community. News stories ran every few weeks. Ad hoc memorials popped up. Every parent of a child was terrified that their child may go missing. Until their bodies were found, the community was not able to move on. Losing a child to a violent crime is extremely difficult to accept, but some how until a family or community knows for sure it seems almost a betrayal to morn the child’s death. What happens if the child comes home? How do you explain to them that you’ve thrown away their toys? That little thread of hope, that little thread of uncertainty is too much to let go when one is so desperate for it. Asking parents to accept that is unfair.

    That said, the use of public funds need to be administered by those who are less emotionally involved like government and law enforcement officials. If there is nothing to be done, the search can not take more resources from searches that are more likely to bring someone else’s child home.

  35. May 1, 2008 at 18:41

    Why would you??? Not until I KNOW what happened to said missing person.

  36. 36 Steve - USA
    May 1, 2008 at 18:41

    The female caller that was talking about her son who went missing, brought up a point, that we could take further. That the media only cares if the child missing is young, attractive, female, and from at least moderate means. There are many missing boys, not as attractive girls that go missing all the time and they don’t make national or international news. There are terms for this, such as “missing pretty white girl syndrome”:

    http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7711.shtml

    http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/2006/03/diagnos
    ing-missing-white-woman.html

    If that guest’s son had been an attractive female, they probably would have gotten a lot of media attention and more of a chance of finding clues if people had seen her son.

  37. 37 Luis Leonardo.Jamaica via text
    May 1, 2008 at 18:43

    We shouldn’t let go at least we see the dead corp of that person.faith cant be extinguish.

  38. 38 Scott Millar
    May 1, 2008 at 18:43

    + If god has the power or desire to give people strength after-the-fact, rather then an inadvertent placebo-like effect of a structured religion or any support group, he would also have the power to stop children disappearing in the first place.

    – Portland, Oregon

  39. May 1, 2008 at 18:46

    As painful as losing a child is, ironically, it is far more common than imagined, when one considers divorce. It’s not too unusual for a court to completely sever the relationship of a child to a noncustodial parent. The reason is not incompetence (both parents are generally equally able, equally not) but money — how much one parent is able to spend on lawyers and experts, both of whom perform for a fee. The interest of the child is lost in this system in which lawyers, judges, and evaluators increase the income and power of one another. Never mind the pain of the parent who loses (and mothers as well as fathers lose); it does the rest of society little good to raise children with anger or bitterness or practiced indifference toward half of their familial heritage.

  40. 40 Aloice Kiplimo Rugut
    May 1, 2008 at 18:54

    There is no saying goodbye! When Allen Jonson went missing, everyone was concerned. I did tell all my friends- most of them who don’t listern to BBC. I prayed all through. Please dont give up on anyone- who is lost, missing.

  41. 41 Nick in USA
    May 1, 2008 at 19:01

    I think one of the hardest parts of this situation would be feeling so helpless. If I were in this situation I would never give up because giving up would just prove that I was helpless. Fighting to prevent this situation from happening again would help you regain some of the control you lost when this happened to you.

  42. 42 Shirley
    May 1, 2008 at 19:23

    I know the mother-child bond. I would never say good-bye.

  43. 43 Richard in Athens (text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:30

    We forget our roots. Before Jason was Odysseus, an adult male, 10 years missing. Both Jason and Odysseus came back. Penelope didn’t lose hope.

  44. 44 Laura Golakeh ,Monrovia. (text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:31

    I found 8 hard 2 move on after d death of my sister but as sayin goes time has healed my wounds &now i live wit her memories.

  45. 45 KAKONGE - UGANDA. (text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:32

    :MY TWO BROTHERS DISAPPEARED IN 1972&1979 BUT I CANT FORGET.I HEARD OF A JAPANESE SOLDIER WHO REAPPEARED AFTER MORE THAN 50YRS.WHAT OF THESE AUSTRIAN CASES SHOULD THE RELATIVES HAVE GIVEN UP.

  46. 46 Babagana in Nigeria (text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:33

    Dear,BBC.Is sad and hard to separate with admired and love ones parents of Madgaline should take heart she would return one day..

  47. 47 MIKE WAMBI .(text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:33

    Here in rural Uganda when a girl goes missing its most likely that she has got a marriage partner .

  48. 48 Usman - Nigeria.(text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:34

    I think if a missing child is not found after 25 years definitely the parent should remove hope.

  49. 49 Maria (text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:35

    You can never say good bye and move on cos that person is a part of you and moving on is leaving a part of you behind. Its not just possible.

  50. 50 wil - traverse city, michigan, usa
    May 1, 2008 at 19:37

    Why would you?

  51. 51 James- Ohio (email)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:37

    Your host’s admission that the staff never considered that religious faith might be a factor in the experience of families of the missing indicates an apalling lack of insight into the perspective of much of the world. To fail to include this as one of the many possible factors is really an astonishing admission of being out of touch with reality.

  52. 52 Isaac (email)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:38

    Hello whys,

    Its hard to lose someone be it a family member or a friend, memories remain fresh. How ever hope is the last thing we should have, time heals I have never thought my Dady will go forever when he died 4 years ago. Out of sight the more I remember him

  53. 53 Eliel From Brooklyn (email)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:39

    I remember hearing on the BBC last year, that a woman was reunited with her family in Vietnam. In this story a woman is reunited with her Mother who thought she was killed during the war. I believe the Girl didn’t even know who her mother was either. That stroy showed reunion that took 40 years. That one story is hope enough.

  54. 54 anonymous text
    May 1, 2008 at 19:50

    Even if you pretend you are sure they are dead or you’ll never see them again, some doubt will still remain in your sub consience so its practically impossible to say good bye.Not untill the mystery is revealed can one say goodbye or welcome back.

  55. 55 Michael, Soroti - Uganda (text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:51

    Yes as time goes by u have to let go. Especially when the period exceeds a yr. It is just like losing someone to death. One may have illusions of the dead coming home, dreams, etc. But eventually they pass.

  56. 56 Olabisi in Nigeria (text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:52

    It is not easy to say goodby.

  57. 57 Adam, Tanzania. (text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:53

    I think when someone goes missin, it’s not time 2 say ‘goodbye’ but pray he or she comes back. Cuz u don’t know what has happened 2 that person.

  58. 58 Daniel Kadzaa-Arua Uganda(text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:53

    I miss my Father 36yrs after my mother parted him following a disagrement.I have never seen him,I miss him dead/alive but I cant say Bye-

  59. 59 Hassan Mohammed (text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:54

    If my father had not given up a child he hardly know for over 40 years, I dont think anybody shld give up.

  60. 60 Adam in Tanzania (text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:55

    It’s not time to give up hope and say goodbye, like for instance, Sir David Livingstone has been missing for five years but eventually Stanley found him back!

  61. 61 DANIEL FRANCIS IGWU IN NIGERIA. (text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:56

    I cant say goodbye because there is no time to say so.Some people cant be forgoten just like that.

  62. 62 Thomas Murray
    May 1, 2008 at 19:56

    This is one of the few times I’ve read all the comments. They are all poetic.

    As I’ve posted before on this site, a 12-year-old girl, Ann Gotlieb, went missing from a local mall parking lot in 1980. All they found was her bike.

    There’s not a case like Maddie’s that doesn’t remind me of the Gottlieb disappearance. And, like the Kennedy or Martin Luther King assassination, I don’t think there’s a person in Louisville who doesn’t remember where they were that day.

    This must devastate not only the parents’, but also diminishes the community in which it happens to no small degree.

    To have a child simply disappear into the ether, without closure, must cause unimaginable pain.

    And in our societal overcompensation, our Amber Alerts have nabbed mostly estranged parents and distraught mothers who seek to remove their children from distressed homes. Which ruins everyone’s lives.

    Just hope there is a cop out there who will never let this case go.

    –Sadly. Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  63. 63 BIN KIZITO~Makerere university-uganda (text)
    May 1, 2008 at 19:56

    well,good bye is just a way of wishing your loved one.

  64. 64 selena
    May 1, 2008 at 20:18

    Scott Millar

    That was what I was trying to say but you said it more eloquently.

    Where was god when the child was abducted and/or murdered? Why would god give one person more strength than another?

    I can never understand how a person saved from a disaster can attribute his or her survival to god’s blessing him or her, when just next door an innocent child was not saved.

    We are always trying to find reasons why humans do the things they do and this is a huge question for me. Why do we believe that god would do more for us than another, especially if that other is a child?

  65. 65 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    May 1, 2008 at 20:58

    I think you should look for as long as you feel there is hope! It really is not up to outsiders to say when the time has come for those missing a loved one to give up! That is a little presumptious to say the least!

  66. 66 Dennis Cote
    May 2, 2008 at 08:12

    The big hype is because it’s a child.
    If it were a 40 year old man missing, I’m sure there would me no 1 year anniversary worldwide news about it.
    The media loves to stuff down our throats about children, but adults, nowadays are useless, not of any concern.
    Last I knew anniversaries were to celebrate the good things, not pick open a wound from the past.
    The whole decision should be made by the family involved, that left the kid unattended.
    Not a good parenting decision, but they did make that decision, and don’t feel the least bit responsible for it.
    Boo hoo, squish squish, tears of sadness.

  67. 67 cmkandani
    May 2, 2008 at 08:59

    Hope is good but on other hand hope has made people suffer. Acceptance is the only way forward in a case like this. I know people dont wanna give up on their loved ones but sometimes its the only way forward.

  68. 68 Tatyana
    May 2, 2008 at 12:46

    When is it time to say goodbye?
    I think it never is.
    While you are alive
    And haven’t found,
    Find and do hope,please.
    There are so many cases now,
    When people find each other:
    Friends meet, beloved meet,
    A daughter finds her father…
    In Russia there is a TV show,
    Which called is “Zhdi menya” (Wait for me)
    When people meet in fifty years!
    Though they were so far.
    When children were abducted once
    And in some years, oh wonder!…
    They so often found are,
    It’s like a real thunder.
    Don’t give up hope!
    Never! None!
    But wait, there is a way
    It’s not all over yet, believe!
    And you will find some day!

  69. 69 Michele
    May 3, 2008 at 02:17

    I have read through several of the replies. I don’t know what it is like to miss a child. (thank god)
    I am a daughter of a missing person. My father disappeared from our home in October of 1965. It will be 43 years in October. You never give up hope even after 40 years. The questions are there even after 40 years. Why? How? My father was 30 years old and a young girl 18 went missing approximately a month apart. She had 2 children at the time of her disappearance, dad had four. We’ve had no contact. He just walked out saying he was going to the local bar. He never came back. We learned after 30 years she left about a month before dad. It is still a mystery to us why? how? Giving up hope is not an option. You have to continue to have faith you will find the answers. Never is the time to say goodbye.

  70. May 3, 2008 at 02:55

    My only child Michael Hogan has been missing almost 3 years. I understand hope and I understand moving on. I have no idea what is right, what is best, what is possible for anyone but myself, in this situation and at this time.

    After months of staying up half the night doing internet searches and anything I could think of to resolve this unbelievable situation I find there is less and less to do. – I move on.
    I read every new message on his website to this very day. – I hope.
    No longer does my heart jump every time the phone rings. – I move on.
    When I see a message on my phone I pray I will hear his voice. – I hope.
    I find new ways to observe holidays.- I move on.
    I open the mail box with anticipation.- I hope.
    I glance up from my gardening expecting to see him walking down the drive.- I hope.
    I pray for him every night. – I hope

    Michael is with me always – in my heart, on my mind, in the very fabric of my being. He is after all flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone, the love of my life.

    I hope AND I move on.

    http://www.helpfindmikehogan.org

  71. 71 Celia
    May 3, 2008 at 02:59

    I pray to never know how it feels to have a loved one go missing. I am in awe of the courage it takes for the family to go on living.

  72. May 3, 2008 at 23:01

    I am personally living with the nightmare of being without a missing person. My precious mother has been missing for 17+ years and it still feels as if it were yesterday she was here. Noone who truly loves a missing person will NEVER really go on normally……..

    Daughter of missing Cynthia L. Day

    http://www.myspace.com/findcynthialday

  73. 73 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 7, 2008 at 07:07

    For Cynthia Day…..I hope we can find your mother….

    When is it time to say goodbye? i don’t know it
    depends on the person…..

    Thanks,
    Dennis
    Madrid, United States of America

  74. May 14, 2008 at 17:19

    My daughter, JESSICA EDITH LOUISE FOSTER went missing from her home in North Las Vegas on March 29, 2006. Jessie is believed to be a victim of human trafficking.
    My answer to your question (in my case) is: NEVER. I will never say goodbye or stop looking for my daughter unless or until she comes home…alive or not. Even if it is only by DNA testing, I need PROOF that my Jessie is not alive. Then & only then, will I say goodbye and start to grieve for my beautiful daughter.
    Until then, I will continue my search…try to keep Jessie’s name, picture and story alive, as I believe with all my heart that JESSIE IS…ALIVE and in need of being rescued.
    For more information, please go to our website or email me: jessiesmom@jessiefoster.ca – thank you. Sincerely, Jessie’s mom, Glendene.

  75. May 14, 2008 at 17:20

    I noticed that our website did not appear in my message: http://www.jessiefoster.ca – thank you. Glendene.

  76. 76 Missy Verstynen
    July 15, 2008 at 22:59

    I was watching a show on TRU channel on cable TV when the case they were talking about reminded me of Ann Gotleib. The little girl was also red headed with freckles, age 8 yrs. old disappeared from Phoenix in 1984. Vicki Hoskinson was riding a pink bike when she was last seen. Could the 2 be linked in some way? I don’t know and don’t know how to go about asking the right people.

  77. 77 Mishelle Hunchman
    December 5, 2008 at 06:48

    I just want to say never give up hope on a missing person, I’ve never had anyone come up missing, but I was the same age as Ann Gotlieb in 1983 when she was abducted from the Bashford Manor Mall while riding her bike in Louisville, KY. Me and my mother frequently went to that mall and I still remember seeing the people searching the surrounding area for the little red headed freckle faced girl, the picture of her and the bike that was all over the news stuck in my head all of these years. Mother’s were scared to death to let children out of their sight even for a second, and my mother would keep me close and hold on to me tightly when we would go to that mall after that. Ann Gotlieb has been missing for 25 years June 1, 2008.

    Till this day they still haven’t found Ann, but Today the Louisville Police Dept. held a press conference stating that they had a suspect in the case but the suspect has been deceased since 2002, they probably never will know where Ann’s remain’s are but at least they now know something from a 25 yr old cold case. They said that this suspect had done this to other young girls one being his own step daughter, attacked other girls in Alabama, and tried to abduct two girls leaving a school in Louisville. He was sentenced to prison for 30 yrs for breaking into a home of a 12-13 yr old girl, raping her, and stabbing her in the back. They believe it was the same MO because most of them were red headed little 12-13 yr old girls.

  78. 78 Mishelle Hunchman
    December 17, 2008 at 04:05

    Can you believe not only do they have a suspect in Ann Gotlieb’s case, but they also solved the 27 yr old cold case of Adam Walsh who’s father is the host of “America’s Most Wanted. Check the Yahoo new’s for more details on it and who his killer was.


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