To anyone who may be reading this, I apologise for how long it has taken for me to write a new post. I was quite overwhelmed by the response to he last one, and by how many people read it. I had regrets about some of the phrases I used, felt embarrassed that I had not proof read and reworded it to make sure I was entirely happy. The truth is that I write my blog posts with one hand on my phone whilst breastfeeding my boy each night. Mostly I don’t re-read them, I just send them out in to the universe, unedited. In response to having my blog actually seen by people, I decided to take some time to write something personal, something that meant something.
So I started to draft a message of hope, inspired by news of missing Alice Gross, a story which has occupied my mind with worry and anguish. My own cousin also went missing when I was young, and despite all the odds, he was found alive many years later, and with support has been able to return home. The circumstances of his disappearance were very different – he was over 18 years old, does not live in the UK, and his decision to leave home was influenced by an undiagnosed mental health condition; however the experience of living with the unknown was the same.
I was just a child when my own family were going through our own hell, so I was protected from the reality of the situation, from the stress and the heartache. It wasn’t until I was a mum myself that I really thought about how it must feel to be offered the chance to have your child declared as dead after being a missing person for so long, as my Aunt did. The agony of not knowing the whereabouts of your own child must be unbearable, I cannot imagine it. Despite having no connection to Alice or her family, I felt the biting anxiety that each day of not knowing bought. I felt the nausea of every revelation in the news. I cried about her, prayed for her, hoped and wished for a positive outcome for her and her family. I thought back to my cousin and remembered that sometimes miracles do happen, people do return, gone does not mean gone forever.
So I wrote a post about this, I hoped that it might give some hope to someone. I was trying to put my faith in the power of positive thinking, I wanted to believe in a miracle.
But then yesterday morning, like everyone else, I read about the discovery of Alice, and I realised that she would not be able to return home. There was a sombreness in our house that was felt around the country, our collective heart was broken, for a moment we were united in our grief. But we are lucky, because we were able to move on from this moment, and although Alice will remain in our thoughts, we were able to get on with our day. For her family, friends, those who knew and loved her, the rest of the day would not be so easy. Suddenly my message of hope didn’t apply anymore, things had changed forever.
So sorry that this post is not of the quality or standard that it should be, as once again I am hodgepodging this together on my phone, babe in arms, life is as it always was. I feel that ultimately, parenting is all about hope for the future. We have to live in hope that things will be good, your child will thrive, succeed, be happy, feel loved and treasured. At times it feels impossible to look ahead and feel positive, but in time, as hearts heal, hope can return. I send my love and deepest sympathies to Alice’s family and friends at this very difficult time. She will not be forgotten.