It is important to understand that families, and family members, will experience different hopes at different times while a loved one is missing. In the beginning, they will hope for the safe return of their loved one. If the disappearance becomes long term, the individuals wishes may shift so they hope their loved ones remains will be found. Along with this cycle of hope, individuals’ beliefs on whether their loved one is alive or deceased may alter as well. Sometimes the individual may believe their loved one is alive and well somewhere, other times they may believe their loved one is deceased and they may periodically come to terms with this belief. Beliefs and hopes will differ between families, and within families. It is important that the loved ones of missing persons, are supported in whatever hopes and beliefs they currently hold, and accept the fact that hope will not remain static.
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