Woman, Lucy Johnson, Found After 55 Years: What Makes People Disappear?


Have you ever wanted to just ‘start over’, re-create yourself, start anew?  Often times we do this by changing careers, partners, or cities, but what about disappearing completely to everyone you know?  That’s exactly what Lucy Johnson of  British Columbia did 55 years ago, recently found by her estranged daughter, and she’s not the only one.  What can this type of disappearance do to the ones you loved – especially the children?  Like the woman found after 55 years; what makes people disappear?

Many stories exist of people who left their life mysteriously to start over somewhere else, like that of Florida woman Brenda Heist, who disappeared one day after dropping her young children off at school.  Unlike Lucy Johnson, who went on to have an apparently happy life, undiscovered until recently, Brenda resurfaced in bad shape after 11 years of being largely homeless and in bad relationships.  What motivates people to disappear?

Life can be trying for anyone.  Often the weight of personal ‘obligations’ and perceived responsibilities is too much for a person and they think it would be better for everyone if they just left.  However, things are not always as you might imagine them to be.  Often times the choice to runaway from what life has handed you leaves you dealing with what they call ‘karma’ in the east.  Karma is the repercussions of your actions – usually in equal measure to what you have left others.  Leaving a family to assume you have died is not really the kindest action – and may mean you get to suffer while they do.

What do you do if your life is wrought with worries you feel you can’t handle, and faking death seems like your best option?  Time to seriously re-evaluate how you perceive reality.  This doesn’t mean you don’t have a deeper calling to do something other than you are currently doing, but it can mean to consider the way in which you transition to a new life, and if it is really yours to do.  How do we know?  We never really do – until we do it – but, having consideration for others in your life and weighing out the ‘highest good’ for everyone involved is always the best action.

With Brenda Heist, mother of two in Florida who left an impending divorce with her husband, she created a situation where those closest to her had to face issues that were unnecessary – such as the accusation of her murder.  Her children grew up feeling either abandoned or as though their mother was killed, neither one healthy for growing children’s minds.  Today, these kids get to reassess their once solidified beliefs in favor for the truth – their mother left them to try it alone.  They may or may not be able to ever fully heal from such news.

Lucy Johnson, of B.C. left her husband to face murder charges as well, and he went through the experience of having his entire yard excavated in search of her body – in the presence of their 8 year old daughter.  Do we consider how our actions might affect the lives of others when we choose drastic choices such as abandonment?

This is a deep topic with varied considerations – as the path of each human being is forever uncertain.  We are ingrained with the natural inclination to care for one another, to help one another out – this is shown in studies and real life situations time and again as tragedy strikes, and communities as well as individuals gather to assist those in need.  So what creates the lack of these feelings?  What makes people leave?

In our society today we have created some serious challenges for the individual, such as appearance and educational expectations, financial ‘grading’ systems and the pressure to be ‘normal’, producing an ‘acceptable’ version of reality that can be shared with the world.  We tend to isolate – either institutionally or societally – individuals who behave differently, who cannot fit our ‘structure’ and feel unique ways of expressing themselves.  If these individuals are ‘well-0ff’ financially, well, they can do anything they want – but if they are poor…there is no room for such behavior.

Sometimes those who don’t know how to continue in their current life, opt out of life all together, though most would not consider this a favorable option.  To the people who feel they are at an end in their present day situation – I offer a call:  May inner personal strength rise up!  Whether it is the power to communicate with those in your life that change must occur, or the personal empowerment to make positive alternations within in order to see shifts in reality allowing one to move ahead in a new direction within the same space – let the energy be available to harness by every person.  Let communities rise up in support of one another and may we become more empathetic beings – able to notice the needs of others more readily – so we can step forward with a hand held out when needed.

For those who have chosen to leave their lives in search of others, like Lucy Johnson, found after 55 years, and Brenda Heist found after 11, we speak to what makes people leave.  To those who have thoughts such as these cross their minds…may there be another way to express such need for change – which supports all beings.  As a human race, might we evolve to the point of finding internal healing to affect global change in this and all areas.


Written by: Stasia Bliss

Sources: The Globe and Mail; Metro; CNN

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.