National Writing Day 2022

For many people, writing about their experiences can be very valuable and therapeutic. Thus, to mark National Writing Day, we are honoured to share some poignant prose and poetry with you written by people with a missing loved one.

All pieces were created as part of our Creative Writing Group.

Shadows in time

Brows furrowed

Listening to

whispers in the wind

Like chasing autumn leaves

Floating in the air

Ethereal, drifting, fleeting

Fingertips reaching to touch

wisps of lingering memories

Echos of  silence

Embracing spaces

where once you breathed

Now a memory

You are nowhere

To be found

Hope, like a flower

Hope, like a flower

Can bring spring to your heart

If you let it grow


Flowers in the field

Gently sway in the light wind

Filling heart with joy

How many children have you got?

Do you have children?

How many children have you got?

Do you have other children?


These are all questions that I dread.

It’s complicated.

If I say two, then they will ask, how old are they?

If I say ‘two, but one is dead’,

They will cringe into their embarrassment,

And you will join them, feel sorry for them

For their foot-in-the-mouth faux pas.

If you say ‘just one’ then the weight of betrayal

Visibly curls your shoulders

And you feel winded.


How can you say that your child existed,

But now they are dead?

How can you put the weight of that deadness

Onto the shoulders of the well-intended?


There is no winning in this conversation.


Should this even be a battle?


Usually, you do the polite thing and mumble,

Avoid, don’t elaborate, stay humble.


But not always.


‘My daughter was murdered.

You say, with a malevolent eye.

‘She was fourteen. Her name was Alice.’

That will shut them up.

Then you crawl into the hole of social exclusion

And somehow feel that you have violated the enquirer.

Sometimes I have added,

‘Do you remember the case? It was high profile.’

Confront and challenge

Stare directly into their eyes.

Whatever they say will seem insipid, wrong.

Some people have never heard of it. Some people have vague recollections.

Some people know it well.

Mostly, their eyes will slide away,


Riding their backs


How many children have you got?

Read more creative writing

Click the button below to read more creative writing by families we support and to learn some tips on how to start putting your thoughts to paper!

Read more

Join our Creative Writing Group

It does not need to be National Writing Day for you to be part of our Creative Writing Group!

Our Creative Writing Group is a safe, supportive space for families with a missing loved one where they can come together to work through and explore feelings around their missing experience. Members of the group work collaboratively and on individual pieces and support each other to produce both poetry and prose, giving creative expression to difficult emotions.

Not only is writing a liberating outlet and safe space for people affected by missing to express themselves, but the group also provides a unique opportunity to meet others who understand their experience.

If you have a missing loved one and would like to learn more or join the group, please complete the form below, and our team will be in touch!

I want to join the Creative Writing Group

Sign up to be a Digital Search Hero

We have launched a regular email so that you can be aware of new missing person appeals and share them far and wide! We are also calling on all Heroes to be the eyes and ears for Missing People on the ground. Your sighting of a missing person could make a difference in a crucial time.