Q: Many reunions are happy, but some end with the other person having passed away or not wanting to be located. How do you prepare yourself to deliver this information?

A: The majority of reunions end with a reasonably happy event. But from time to time, there are some unfortunate endings. If I have done my job right, we have been managing expectations from the start of the search. I never want people to think that all searches have happy endings. They don't. However, they all can provide closure. Closure comes when questions are answered. Answers come in various forms. Spoken and unspoken. Seek closure, and you will find it. Seek a happy new relationship, and you may be disappointed. But the odds are still in your favor that you will smile when it's over.

Q: How can a person still find closure and move on after receiving this upsetting information?

A: When the person being sought is deceased, the closure generally comes from the surviving family members. Through stories and photo albums, you can still get a deep look into the life of someone who is no longer with us. And your presence among family of the deceased can also bring some joy and peace as they see some of the traits of their loved one still living on through you. In the end, the only truly sad ending to a search is the case that is never solved.


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