Mother took her pain to the grave
The worst sorrow that can be inflicted on any parent is to bury their child. But even that would have been a consolation for Bangor woman, Pat Dorrian, who has gone to her own grave without ever having the opportunity to give a Christian burial to her daughter Lisa, who went missing 10 years ago and is presumed to have been murdered.
Independent North Down MP Lady Sylvia Hermon summed up the anguish of this mother when she said that Pat's heart had ached every day of every year without Lisa.
How many lonely days and nights had Pat stared out of the windows of her home wondering where her beloved daughter's body lay? She knew in her heart of hearts that Lisa was dead but she didn't want retribution or vengeance - although Lisa's cruel killers deserve both.
She simply wanted to know what had happened and to bury her. Pat's long heartache is an echo of that endured by the families of those killed and covertly buried by the IRA, the so-called Disappeared.
Some of the bodies have been found but the earth has not yet yielded all its secrets.
Murder is accepted by all civilised societies as the greatest wrong that can be committed by any human being. To compound that by hiding the body and refusing to answer the most anguished pleas from the relatives to disclose its whereabouts is indescribably evil.
Lisa was just 25 when she disappeared from a caravan park on the Ards Peninsula in 2005. Life in many respects should just have been beginning for her. Her mother may have often thought of what she could have become - certainly something far removed from being another unsolved murder statistic.
Pat Dorrian campaigned ceaselessly to keep her daughter's disappearance in the public consciousness and earlier this year the PSNI issued a fresh appeal for information.
Those who killed Lisa are the only ones who know for certain what happened on the fateful night that she disappeared. But, inevitably, there are others who know who those people are or who have well-founded suspicions. It is their duty, both civic and moral, to give that information to the PSNI.
The Dorrian family accept that the chances of the killers being brought to justice recede with every passing day, but it could still happen. In the meantime, Lisa's death is another stain on the reputation of Northern Ireland.