The rhythm of our lives runs to the many anniversaries we mark each year.
There are the happy celebrations – the birthdays and wedding anniversaries that roll around each to make us thankful for what we have and to remind us we’re all getting older.
Then there are the sad anniversaries that remind us of those we have lost.
But what of those anniversaries that offer neither a time for celebration nor real grieving?
For the family of missing Bathurst man Andrew Russell, that anniversary is June 2.
For Jessica Small’s mother and sister, that anniversary is October 26.
And for the family of Janine Vaughan, that anniversary is December 7.
Those are the dates that mark the last time their loved ones were seen alive in Bathurst before vanishing, seemingly without a trace.
With no answers about what happened to them and having had no chance to properly farewell them, the families cannot mark the anniversaries with any real grieving.
Rather, they are simply another painful reminder of so many unanswered questions.
Friday was December 7, marking 17 years since Janine Vaughan was last seen.
It was a date Janine’s family dread each year – another turn of the calendar that has still brought no resolution.
It’s a special, empty grief these families must suffer, and one the rest of us can never properly appreciate.
They are the saddest anniversaries of them all.