Coins of Hope – extended versie

I want to believe that he will return
one day and that I will see him again. But I don’t dare believe it,
even though I want it. At one point I wanted to jump
out of the window. It hurt so much
that the pain became unbearable. We’re talking about a child who
is two years and two months old. It should be with its parents,
and not anywhere else. But that child is gone. This is my daughter’s bed. I haven’t
been able to disassemble it yet. I think it has become
part of my life now. As long as her bed is here,
it feels as if she’s still here too. It helps me to keep going. It’s been empty since 2011.
That makes five years now. It’s very painful for a father to not be able
to play the role of a father for his child. It’s as if you lose an arm or a leg. It’s as if from one day to the next
there’s a hole in your life. Every week
an underage refugee disappears. You imagine all kinds of things.
I don’t know. Human trafficking? Is he working somewhere illegally? Is he dead? He was 13 years old. Thousands of underage refugees
have disappeared without a trace. He spoke no foreign languages.
He was small and skinny. How could he survive? By selling
himself perhaps? You often hear that. It’s a child, without any protection. At first you think: He’ll soon appear. How often do children hide
in a closet? What’s more fun than that? That was possible. But I can guarantee you that
we have looked everywhere, twice. At one point it gets dark,
and that’s when the panic sets in. He still isn’t back. And then you have to go back home,
knowing that your boy is missing. I can assure you
it was a very bad night. I can’t close this chapter
before I know something. Anything. It’s difficult to live this way.
It’s something no one wants. To lose a child. They say that time heals all wounds,
but that’s not true. It’s something
you can never get to terms with. I hope it ends up in the right place… and maybe it will result in some kind of
information from an unexpected source. That would be wonderful, wouldn’t it?

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