It’s been 12 month since Goondiwindi grandfather Terry Lloyd disappeared. His family have not only had to deal with that mystery but the ordeal of having his disappearance tarnished by two words “mental illness’. Here’s their story in their own words…
Today is one year since Dad went missing. It doesn't get easier and it never will. Moments aren't the same and life has this void that makes us all feel uneasy and empty. Who would of thought we would be sitting here 1 year on, with still no answers and no leads since Dad's car was found crashed into a tree in the Piliga forest.
One of the most positive things to come out of this situation, are the amount of stories and love from people all over Australia. Dad is nothing short of an inspiration and from what we know/have heard, he always has been. You could not find a more supportive, loving & caring person than our Dad and that is something we will all hold close to our hearts and go on to tell our own children when we speak of him in everyday life.
Dad suffered a lifetime of mental illness which resulted in a life time of people doubting who he was and always assuming he was mentally incapable of doing anything. Although at times he was in a rough mind-set, he was still the strongest and smartest person we all knew and that was something many people couldn't understand or get past as soon as they heard the words "mental illness". He suffered silently because he wanted to deal with it himself. Yes, Dad had a mental illness but this was just one part of him. It did not define who he was.
(On the last night we saw him) Dad went inside, got his car keys, said that he was just going to get fuel and food. He left with an with an "I love you". Little did we know that, that would be the last time any of us would see him or get the chance to tell him how much we love him.
If it is one thing we bring to the table from this situation it is that we have so many people silently suffering with mental illnesses. Australia also has so many people who are uneducated in the matter, and do not show the empathy (they should). The only way to improve this is to speak up. Don't be afraid to ask someone, "are you ok" and be prepared to sit and listen to an honest answer without judgement.
It's a hard journey for us all, and not knowing is harder. There are some nights we don't sleep, there are some nights we cry into the pillow just wishing this was a terrible nightmare that we could all wake up from. Dad, we miss you so much. We love you, and we will be forever searching for you and answers. We won't give up.
The story has been edited. Read the full story on our website.