Every newspaper and almost every Swedish blog is today talking about Engla. Yesterday the ten year old girl who disappeared last week was confirmed dead as a 42 year old truck driver confessed to murdering her and another woman (yes I finally found a link that even English speaking readers can understand).
Every few months we hear of a young woman or child disappearing and then a few weeks later found dead, or in some cases never found. Each time, it's just as unsettling. First the local village going searching for the missing person, then the news dies down, only to shock us some time later with the bad news of a dead body found.
Each time the sorrow hits me as if it were someone close to me. One can only imagine what the relatives of the missing person go through. Month after month of wondering, searching, praying, waiting. To the extent that I believe there must be a sense of relief in all the grief when the bad news is given of at least knowing.
Can a parent ever give up? Ever begin to let go and think "she's dead, she's gone"? I don't know. Do the McCann's still believe Madeleine is alive or are they more interested in searching for her body to have someone to bury and say goodbye to? (that is assuming they are innocent, at this point none of us really know what went on).
I think the case of Natascha has made it difficult for any parent to ever give up, or rather give in to the fact that their child may be gone forever. For better or worse, the fact that she was found after 8 years reminds other parents that anything is possible, gives them that glimmer of hope they need, but also does not allow them to return to their lives, always keeping on hold, just in case. How many years do you wait until you pack away your daughter's clothes? Would you dare change anything, would you dare move house? The burden of a missing child holds the parent and the whole family hostage until released by the news no person would ever want to hear - your child is dead.
The release from all worry being worse than the worrying itself.