I suppose writing about such a serious family episode may not be the best thing, but as my husband is the only one who reads my blog, I feel fairly safe in expressing these views, especially since we have already expressed them to each other.
Being physically missing causes more stress to loved ones than anything else I have experienced. The unknown is a veritable mountain of despair as various scenarios run across one's mind. There is no looking to the future, or past the next thirty seconds for that matter. Being a person who is constantly looking to the future in regards to goals or other such things, not knowing what the next few hours or days will bring is difficult to wrap my head around. The comfort of physical presence is no longer. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have a hand to grab when I am overwhelmed or an arm to warm my shoulders while walking in the cool fall air. I have come to rely so heavily on the physical presence of those I love, it is incomprehensible doing without.
Have you even woken in the middle of the night and felt the cool bed sheet next to you and had a small panic attack because there was something not quite right about being alone? Or have you reached out when a sound startled you from a dream to feel the warm shoulder next to you, and suddenly you are relaxed and can fall back asleep? I have, and don't know what I would do if my husband were to disappear.
I think we have all had to deal with missing someone emotionally. Either they have made themselves unapproachable by actions or attitudes, they are emotionally missing from your life. It can be a family member or long time friend that has distanced themselves from the bosom of all those that care for them. They don't have to be physically away, but you know they aren't there.
Have you sat in a room with someone you loved so much that your chest hurt, but they looked right through you? They just sat and stared at the television, and didn't even attempt to strike up a conversation or respond when you attempt to make small talk? I have. It hurts. No matter how much I want to make that person understand how their actions affect me, no amount of effort on my part will change them, that is something they must do themselves.
When we have gone missing spiritually, that is the hardest to come back from. Don't we all have peaks and valleys in our spiritual quest to return to our Heavenly Father? What happens to us when we have once been spiritually there and then no longer are? I think that those who are spiritually missing, have the largest hole in which to fill. They may be present both physically and emotionally to those around them, but because of the void of spirituality, they are not whole.
The person who we are missing is really missing in all areas. It started as a spiritual hiatus that perhaps had long lasting and far reaching effects. It has turned into an emotional wasteland and now something physical. The family has been affected by the actions of an individual that for some reason, has gone so far down the road of depression and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, he served in Iraq), we wonder if he will ever make it back. What are the ramifications for his wife, his child, his parents? What about his sibling, my husband? Will he ever recover if in fact his brother doesn't return? It is a path this family has gone down before. His grandfather was killed in World War II and was listed as missing for many years before his body was found in Holland when my husband was a young child. Is this what this family has to look forward to?
I suppose that airing my laundry has helped me deal with some of the issues that we are facing in our family. This enormous trial will bring our family closer together, and we are all praying for a resolution that will mean the reunion of a husband to his wife, father to his daughter, son to his parent. The Lord has not stopped doing miracles, and this is one where I pray one will be witnessed.