Hard to comprehend what loved ones must be feeling

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I had assumed that this week I’d be writing about whatever the latest ridiculousness to fall out of Donald Trump’s mouth might be.

But, to be honest, the moment he called Katie Hopkins a ‘respected columnist’ and linked to her page in the Daily Mail, I knew he’d hit his all-time low so I’d have to pick something else.

I’ve only ever lost a cat for a month and that alone sent me spare and had me out at 3am with a torch

So I want to talk about an article that appeared in this newspaper at the tail end of last week.

It’s about six people who have gone missing from Hampshire — disappearing from their homes without a trace.

They range from Waterlooville schoolgirl Krystal Browne, who was last seen on November 29, to Gosport pensioner James Stone, who disappeared in 1988 aged 67.

They’re not famous. They’re not cute toddlers. But what they are is loved and desperately missed by their families, who presumably remain frantic for information even if decades have passed since they vanished.

It’s hard to comprehend how their loved ones must be feeling.

I’ve only ever lost a cat for a month and that alone sent me spare and had me out at 3am with a torch, looking in people’s front gardens for any sign she was still around.

So what it must be like to have a family member, a husband, a wife, a daughter, a son, a girlfriend or a cousin, go missing is almost incomprehensible.

Perhaps at some stage the frantic search gives way to resignation and the flicker of hope turns into stoic acceptance.

I can only guess. But what I do know is it’s thanks to organisations like Missing People, mentioned in The News article, that works to keep the search alive, that attempts to trace missing people and reunite them with their families and provide the support that families of the missing so desperately need.

It’s wrong that it seems to be only at Christmas time that we take stock of our family and try to keep our loved ones close, but it’s better that than it not happening at all.

There are families out there who don’t have that opportunity but hopefully, thanks to organisations like Missing People, they have the support they need to cope.