Yesterday was a significant anniversary, 25 years to be precise, and yet I was still not prepared for the sight of a plain white headstone with a name, a date, and the words: For those who have loved him in life, Let us not forget him in death.
It seems to me that missing persons have always had a huge impact on my life. A very good friend of mine always used to tell me that I should worry more about the people who are actually here, but I didn’t, and now he has become a missing person too (although, while there is distance, I know how to track him down).
1985 was a year of change for me. I had left school at the age of 16 and had started my first job, and I was beginning to feel a separation from those who were continuing with their studies. And then the bottom fell out of all our worlds, and we were thrown back together by a bond that none of us wanted, but one which proved to be strong.
I will always remember a boy running, lapping everyone else, on the playing fields at St Catherine’s while we stood and cheered. They have knocked down the school. They have bulldozed the site. The boy is still running.