Missing the Missing
Thought provoking article on how people and societies deal with human stories that don't have clear endings (e.g., MIAs, or people who vanish in natural disasters), and how the need for 'closure' with a body appears to be universal across all human cultures across time.
"Disappearance can expose an existential fear in those left behind – what could make you question your self-esteem more than the knowledge that you could just go missing without a trace? ...how we deal with our missing people can [also] define us as a society. If the end of your story is not known, if everyone gives up trying to find what happened to you, there is a sense that you did not matter..."
I ran across it right after listening to the latest Ask Pastor John episode in which Piper considers the scriptural foundation for traditional Christian attitudes and practices around how the body is treated after death. Which reminds me of the blue barrels in Unplanned.