They should scrap the word missing from the Oxford English dictionary. They can keep it, only if the definition of the word is limited to meaning a situation when a person cannot be found. The word has no right to try to explain the feeling of longing for another person who is not with you in a specific moment. On the playground of emotive words, missing is the kid that everyone else picks on.
Because longing for someone makes you feel lost, it is a raw feeling of separation that can tear up your soul.
I normally have my “off-day” midweek during my travelling tour. That is the day when I will probably find myself in a taxi travelling to another meeting, staring blindly at the wallpaper of my mobile phone. A photo of the three most important people in my life. Cars roll by, horns are blown and people jay-walk, but nothing matters because I am longing for my loved ones.
When you get to this point in your mind, you see them in everything. It takes the smallest trigger, a piece of clothing, a tone of voice or even smile from a total stranger. These are sign posts showing, reminding you constantly that they are not with you. I am one of the lucky ones.
I know, God willing, that I will see them again in a few days, I get busy and the sadness goes away after a few hours, and totally evaporates when they greet me at the door upon my return. My sense of loss and dread is only temporary, I cherish it, for I do not know how long I will have it. How long it will remain temporary?
The friend who lost her husband two weeks ago is much less fortunate. She says she feels his presence in the house, long for his voice, wanting to see him one last time. And I know she will one day, but now there is nothing anyone can do to take the feeling of loss, the longing away.
People say that time heals everything and life will go on. Does this mean the longing will become less? Will it mean that the feeling of longing will eventually change to a phrase of “I miss you?” No.
Let’s have empathy for people who faced total loss and show support when the hurt surfaces again and the pain of loss becomes too much to bear.