From Clare to Alex

the Spence Family

“Dear Alex

I’m writing this so that if you can read it you’ll know how much we miss you.

Some days I’m sure you’re coming home. Then others I think we’ll never see you again and I start imagining the worst. That you were attacked. Or that you’re trapped somewhere and can’t get out.

Every possible scenario runs through my head, over and over.

The last day we spent together you were playing with the boys. I got the same feeling I always did when I saw you playing with them, this overwhelming sense of pride. That I had everything I ever wanted.

You’d seemed a little down recently and I thought a night out would do you good. Sometimes I’d catch you looking a bit sad but you never told me much. We’d had a few arguments in the weeks leading up to when I last saw you. But everybody said every couple goes through rough patches.

The boys could be a handful and Sam doesn’t sleep too well.

Because of the migraines I get when I don’t sleep you’d been getting up a lot with him during the night.

Sometimes you’d get up at 4am and sit on the sofa with him before going to work. You were exhausted and stressed with work as it was so busy. On that Saturday, as you went to leave I noticed you had a shaving rash. You joked: “It was a new Gillette razor too, they’re meant to be the best a man can get.” You’ve always make me laugh.

I went to sleep at 10pm. When I woke up at 4am I went to get you off the sofa, assuming you’d fallen asleep. But you weren’t there.

As the hours passed I got more and more worried. I called your phone constantly but it kept going straight to voicemail. I don’t know how many messages I left you.

I was looking out of the window every two minutes. At 2pm I called the police and we rang A&E to see if you’d had an accident. But nothing.

Sunday was gut-wrenching but it got worse. On Wednesday I had so many people come round to see me and assumed you’d never be coming home. I fell apart. I miss everything about you, Alex. I fell for you the first time I met you. We both worked for British Gas, you as an engineer and me in the office. I worry that I took you for granted, Alex.

I can’t help thinking that this is all my fault. Your best friend Rob mentioned setting up a Facebook page to see if anyone knew anything. It has nearly 70,000 members now.

Alexander told his teacher you were away helping Father Christmas. That’s how he understands it. He asks after you every day. He misses you so much, you and him are best friends.

During an argument you told me you didn’t like the person you were becoming.

I worry you think we’d be better off without you, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, Alex.

Our family isn’t complete without you. I just want you to come home.

If you’re not ready to come home, if you need some time alone, just a letter to let us know you’re OK. A letter with just “I’m OK” would be enough. I know your handwriting.

The thought of our boys growing up without their amazing dad is unbearable. So please, Alex, just come home.”