May 14, 2015

Have you ever passed a bad car accident? It’s not easy to look away. You don’t want to see the contorted chunks of metal, or worse, disfigured, mangled bodies, but somehow you just can’t turn your head the few inches it would take to spare yourself a lifetime of bad dreams. We traumatize ourselves daily with the nightly news, NPR, BBC, and a whole host of the media’s fear and scandal mongers. With all these methods of self flagellation at my beck and call, I have to wonder why must I find creative ways to torture myself further?

tibet_map_completeMany of you know that my partner has gone missing in Tibet. Trying to find him has been an exercise in despair and frustration. The closest we have gotten is, someone may or may not have seen him killed after an uprising at a Tibetan monastery. Every two years the Congressional Executive Commission on China publishes a political prisoner data base. This year there are 7250 people on the list. Although I am strongly believing the likelihood of his death, I just don’t know what I want to believe. The list is like a bad accident. I have to look. I can’t turn away. I’ve been methodically moving through each listing. Each is a fairly detailed report of where the prisoner is from, when and where they were detained, and any additional information regarding their offense, what may have happened to them upon arrest, and where they were last seen.

014Most of us torture ourselves with the negative self-talk, watching the news or one too many SPCA commercials. I would like to think my form of self-abuse is fairly unusual, but really how unique can it be when I still have to read through at least 2000 more stories?

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13 thoughts on “May 14, 2015

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your partner Ivy and that not knowing. It must be excruciating and yet life goes on and there’s that resignation perhaps. A close frioend’s father went missing in a yacht and is believed to have sunk in a storm but there’s never been any trace of them found and for a few weeks there, that not knowing was agonising. I know a few people who live with tough stuff and most of them end up saying: “it is what it is”, Thinking about you and thank you for allowing us to have a quick glimpse into your shoes xx Rowena

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  2. I can’t imagine the not knowing for so long… wanting to know and yet maybe not. I can envision you going through this massive list, story by story, hoping to find one piece of news that could give hope, or at least closure… and like you I would have to search, all the while knowing that a peaceful answer may not come in this lifetime, but if not, surely will in the afterlife to follow. It is my belief that prayers are heard and honored for souls present and the departed – know that your partner is always in my prayers, right along side my prayers for you.

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  3. A note on the nightly news and those horrific SPCA commercials… I’ve decided that I’ve been inundated enough with all that is wrong, bad and horrible in this world. I get it. I got it long ago. I don’t need to continue to saturate my brain and rip out my heart with seeing and hearing it over and over. It doesn’t help the victims, and it doesn’t help me. It is our job in this lifetime to be a bearers of light, and we can’t do that if we are continually dragged down into the depths of darkness. We need to be aware, but we also need to know when to turn away and say enough!

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  4. It may not be unusual, but it still hurts like hell. I can’t imagine being in your shoes and not reading through every one of those 7,250 every two years. I’m sorry. I wish I could do something besides pray for you. (I am praying for you. (and him))

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  5. Not knowing would be the worst. Knowing definitively that he was dead, as horrible as THAT is, would be better than not knowing anything. To me, at least. Or maybe not. I am the eternal optimist. Maybe I would always hold out hope that one day, the phone would ring.

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  6. The lack of closure has to be the worst. Knowing is painful, but the uncertainty, the shred of hope that may or may not be warranted, the NOT knowing is the worst suffering. Nothing to say but I love you and pray for you both and HUGS.

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  7. Oh Z. I echo many of the thoughts preceding this comment. I imagine you dread this time every 2 years that doesn’t produce something to give you closure. Or hope. I’m so sorry you live in the limbo of not knowing. It must be a very lonley place. I hope you know how many of us there are to support you 🙂

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  8. You have my support. I know there’s that hope for a definitive answer that keeps you going, keeps you reading the list. You must miss him like crazy.

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  9. Wow, this is amazing–you’ve really stretched the boundaries of my world today, Zoe; so easy to just be consumed with my sucky neighborhood. I will certainly pray that someday, hopefully soon, you’ll know what you need to know. God bless you.

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