How do you cope when things go terribly wrong?
A year ago to this month, Grammy Award winning musician, Joe Cripps, went missing. He literally seemed to disappear into thin air. For his friends, family, and loved ones, how does life continue after such a tragic event?
I first met Joe Cripps when I was attending college in Texas. He was the percussionist in a band, Brave Combo, that my girlfriend followed. I ended up appearing on the cover of one of their albums, “No No No Cha Cha Cha”. This photo shoot started up a friendship with Joe.
This was a time long ago when we seemed to have more time on our hands. So, Joe and I would spend lazy summers skipping rocks out on the lake. We would eat in small diners and talk about his favorite candy, Chick-o-Stix. He would laugh that I was always wearing inappropriately high heels for wherever we went.
Last October, I found out that Joe was in Little Rock, Arkansas and after leaving a bar late one night, simply disappeared. For the next few weeks, people thought he would be found. Perhaps he had somehow hit his head falling and was in the hospital. Or he had slipped by the creek and was waiting to be rescued. Time went on, and on and on. Still…nothing from Joe. He had not used his credit cards, cell phone, or even taken his high blood pressure medication with him. He had left his precious drumsticks behind. After a month or so, we began to think the worst, but still hoped for the best.
Flash forward one year later. It is now October and still nothing. Not a single clue as to where he went. It seems like no one knows anything. So, what do the people left behind do to pick up their lives and move forward?
At the time of his disappearance, I had not talked to Joe in a long time. I moved to California to pursue my dreams and like so many friendships, ours sort of faded out. My friends and I still came to see the band whenever they came in town and even saw them in New York City, but gone were the days of sitting out by the lake talking about the Von Erich Family.
I think more now of his family, his brother, and mom. How must they feel after not hearing from him in a year? I think how I would feel if this had happened to my siblings. How are they coping?
After all, even if tragedy strikes, if you know what happened, there is a sense of closure. People can mourn and move forward, however difficult or near to impossible it might be. But, if you simply don’t know what happened, how can you move forth?
My guess in this situation is to continue to hope and pray for the best. To hope that your friend or loved one is okay. And to also prepare for the worst. My girlfriend said people are always found. This is not necessarily the case. And I’m coming to the conclusion we may never know exactly what happened. Many of my friends now believe he met with foul play and that I need to begin to accept this as fact. However, I don’t know for certain. And believe me, there is no peace in this. But there is comfort in taking it day by day and hoping that there will be a resolution either way someday in the future.