and each time I hear those words my heart plummets into my stomach where it continues to beat much too rapidly and makes me feel ill.
I don't "re-tweet" things very often but, this morning, I did re-tweet a picture of young William Tyrrell. Apparently it would be his birthday today. He should be home. He should be excited about presents and a party. He should be excitedly telling everyone how old he is now. He's not.
Nobody knows where William is - except the person or persons who took him. The likelihood that he "just wandered off" and has not been found is miniscule. The likelihood he will be found alive is almost certainly miniscule as well.
I cannot even begin to contemplate what it must be like to lose a child and then not know what has happened to them. I don't know how the parents of Madeleine McCann can keep going - or any other parents like them. Every time the phone rings there must be that heart-stopping moment of wondering - is this it?
I don't have children of my own. I do have a niece and three nephews. My niece and a nephew have five children between them. Losing any of them is unthinkable.
I know people who have lost a child through illness, through accident and, once, through murder. All of them are apparently "getting on with life" but, if you watch closely, you can see the moments when it all comes back and hits them hard. There are times when I know I need to stay silent and just hold hands - just be there.
The Senior Cat went back to school yesterday morning. He thoroughly enjoyed watching all the youngest children in a local school and observing yet more changes in education. In the afternoon he went to a funeral of an old friend. Her youngest child was not there. It was an occasion where her husband and the other children felt not just one loss, but two. If you don't know what has happened to your child then the loss must happen over and over again. It would be never-ending grieving.
That word "closure" is one that often irritates but if you don't know then you can't shut the door gently knowing what is behind it. It has to stay open - just in case.