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No statute of limitation on grief or lossPosted: May 8, 2012

By Stephanie Stevens

51 years ago she went for a walk with friends.

51 years ago she never came back.

Despite a massive manhunt, no trace of Brenda Byman was ever found. This year, she would have been 63.

For her family, her mother, her brother and sisters, it is as clear as yesterday. Her father died wondering.

Yet some tell them to give up. Sneer when they still search for answers. Deride them for wanting to know.

Is there a statute of limitations on grief?

I don’t think so. Nor should there be.

If it were your daughter, your sister, YOURS… would you rest easy never knowing? Would you just forget? Give up? That is what the Byman family has been told to do.

I say no.

I lost my daughter. She was two months old. She never had a chance at life.  And yes, I grieve her still. But at least I have the blessing of knowing what happened to her. There is no question in my mind we did all we could. There is no question what happened. And there is no question she is at peace. I lost my daughter. But I have closure.

The Byman family does not.

I say there is no statute of limitation on grief or loss. When I see a member of the family, I neither roll nor avert my eyes. I do not sigh or look away if they mention her name.

And I never will. I am a journalist. I am honoured they have asked me to write about the reopening of Brenda’s cold case. I will do everything I can to help.

And anyone who does not like it can come and talk to me face to face.

If you have the courage. If you have the balls. I fucking dare you.

Above image from ‘

Stephanie Stevens is a journalist who lives in the Columbia Valley.


3 Responses to No statute of limitation on grief or loss

  1. On behalf of the Byman family, thank you Jan for your comments. All we want and I feel deserve is the truth, her remains so we can give her a proper burial for closure and for justice to be served as it failed us way back when. We are very grateful for people who care enough to remember her and help us in anyway that they can. Thank you Stephanie for your story and thank you to the RCMP member who opened up Brenda’s cold case file. Please, if you know anything in regards to my Auntie Brenda who I never got to meet, contact the Invermere RCMP. PLEASE 🙁

  2. Losing a child is without a doubt the most heartwrenching, unbarable, pain a parent can endure. It is not like losing a Grandmother, Grandfather or an uncle or aunt. Of course all of these losses are devastating at the time.But as time passes the pain lessens and life does go on.Losing a child on the other hand is with you always.The tears never stop.The pain in your chest comes and goes( for a time) .When it comes it hurts so much it can double you over and cause great dificulty breathing. When you finally get your breath regulated, the tears start again. This happenes anywhere, at any time, with no warning. Days are often as black as the hole left in your heart. Sometimes days have a little color which brings a little hope, but a sure as I am typing this , someone will come along and rip the scab off (not intentionally of course) and the hole will once again be gaping and bleeding.Those are the days I sit and hold my chest tight,because the pain is too great to bare.
    Not many people know the whole story behind my son’s life and death.Maybe if they did the wouldn’t judge.
    But this is about another family in great pain. I truly believe that someone knows something.If Brenda is 63 yrs. old then that puts you around the same age. Please, please contact this family, by email, or anonamous letter, They have lived a lifetime of pain. Tell them where to find the sweet daughter,Give them peace, after all these years, please let them bring their daughter home to rest. Don’t go to your grave with this secret.

  3. This is not exactly face to face, but I would like to say that I appreciate your comments on their behalf.

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