No closure for MH370 as search nears one year

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KUALA LUMPUR: It has been almost a year since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from the radar, but the families and friends of the passengers and cabin crew are still struggling with the closure as the 352nd day passes without any sign of the missing Boeing 777.

In a report by Bloomberg, Jacquita Gonzales, who works at a daycare centre in Kuala Lumpur, spoke of the difficulties faced by the family members who had lost loved ones.

Gonzales’ husband of 29 years, Patrick Gomes, was an in-flight supervisor on board MH370 the day it vanished.

“There are huge holes, huge gaps in our lives,” the 52-year-old was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Sarah Bajc, a 49-year-old American teacher, said she was still living in the Kuala Lumpur apartment she had picked out with her partner, Philip Wood.

Wood, a businessman working with IBM Corp, was on his way to Beijing to pack up his home before moving to KL.

“I’ve never been to formal counselling, but I’ve stayed grounded through a strong family and dear trusted friends,” Bajc was quoted as saying. “I get through each day by focusing on what I can control.”

MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. No trace of the plane has been found despite the most extensive search operation in aviation history.

On Jan 29, Malaysia declared that flight MH370 was lost in an accident, killing all 239 people on board although the family members of the passengers have been reluctant to accept the announcement.

“So far, I cannot accept such a result, with little evidence provided to us,” Bai Jie, 23, whose mother was on board the missing flight, was quoted as saying.

Others have accepted the official declaration but are uncertain about how to proceed with their lives.

“They say it’s socially acceptable to start dating again after a year of being a widow,” Bajc said in the report.

“But I don’t know where Philip has gone to. I can’t just move on like this. Philip needs to return, even if it is just his remains.”

Grace Subathirai Nathan, whose mother had been on board MH370, concurred.

“People say it gets better,” she was quoted as saying, “but nothing has changed for me when there are no answers.

“I try to carry on with life but I have not moved on in life. Sometimes I find myself crying on the way to work and on the way back.”

Despite her grief and uncertainty over what had happened to her husband, though, Gonzales said it was important to move on. — The Malaysian Insider


This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 24, 2015.