Missing, or dead
With the recent reappearance of Amanda Berry, I got to thinking again of my sister. She was kidnapped, and killed when I was young. She was missing for over a year, and even though we had no evidence she was alive, we held on to the hope that she had simply run away. My parents were not exactly the nicest parents to her. She was constantly sneaking out, and had made attempts at running away several times before that. For the year and a half that she was missing, I had built up in my mind that she had simply run far enough that she had made a new name for herself, and started a new life.
Then it came. The police officer showed up and told us that my sister was in fact dead. It wasn't really a shock to us, so much as it was crushing. Her remains are now buried in the best location in the cemetery my grandparents ran. There was a part of me that was relieved. As bad as it sounds, there was a finality to it. She was killed with a large stone, and left partially covered by a piece of plywood. She was identified by the clothes she had on and a single remaining finger. At last we had our confirmation of her fate. She was not living as some hippy, on the road with a few friendly people. Her story had concluded, aside from her killer remaining free... And he's still free to this day, more than 30 years later.
My question to you, is this: Would you rather your relative be held captive like Amanda Berry, Or dead like my sister? In all honesty, I feel that my sister's fate was better in that she did not have to suffer the indignity, and torture suffered by the three women recently freed. While her killer is still a fugitive from justice, and the torturing SOB's in Amanda Berry's case will face criminal charges, and likely "Prisoner Justice" I feel that in my eyes it is better that she suffered less...
First off sorry to hear your story. No brother or family should have to go through something like that.
As to you question, it is sad to say, but it all depends on the individuals involved. This is made even sadder because it will largely be based on factors beyond anyone’s control. Some people can learn to cope with traumatic experiences and focus on life going forward, while others never seem to get over such events.
I had a friend in High School and college, in college she was raped. This was an extremely intelligent, beautiful, popular and outgoing person, she has never fully recovered. However, she found other ways to make her life meaningful, she has 3 wonderful children and is utterly devoted to them and her family.
I would lean toward captive just because it is not as final, but something like that would be extremely difficult for someone to overcome in their life. I had someone very important to me murdered by a drunk driver, never got the chance to see if she could overcome the trauma both mentally and physically from the accident, but I really wish I would have given the chance to find out and help.
I will say one thing, they kill or capture one of my relatives; they better pray the law finds them first. Most of my family is not as forgiving or soft hearted as me.
Captured, at least it gives the person the chance the put their life back together.
It really isn't anything easy to answer. I, myself, have flipped back and forth. I suppose having the life to still live after this tragedy makes up for the 10 years of torture.
If it were simply a matter of living secretly away from you and never hearing from her again versus death, I'd give up my peace of mind for her life. Even if it meant that I would never hear from her, or know her fate, I'd rather her be alive and on her own. After all it's the imagined fate I had for my sister before she was found.
I certainly wouldn't wish either on anyone's family. The only thing I can say for a fact, knowing their fate brings it's own peace.
I don't think I could ever cope with a loved one having the term "missing" attached to their name. From a purely selfish point of view, it would kill me inside wondering what happened to them and the thought that MAYBE they're still alive - while knowing that the chances of that are slim to none.
Now, assuming that my loved one was missing and living in the same condition that Berry was, I would hope for that over death. As long as they are alive, there is still a chance for them to experience life. Sure, life will NEVER be the same for them after such a traumatic experience, but time, compassion and understanding can heal those scars with hope that they can still hope and dream like the rest of us at the end of the day.
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