Highbury mum dies still not knowing what happened to her missing daughter
PUBLISHED: 10:19 02 November 2010 | UPDATED: 12:28 16 November 2010
THE heartbroken mother of a woman who disappeared off the face of the earth 15 years ago has died still not knowing what happened to her daughter.
Dillis Harrison, from Petherton Road, Highbury, somehow stayed strong after 32-year-old Jane Harrison went missing in 1984 - and even brought up her distraught grandsons Ryan, 16, and Taylor, 15 months.
But her family say she stopped living the day Jane disappeared, and on October 13 she died of cancer at the Whittington Hospital in Archway still tormented by her second tragic loss of a daughter.
Claire Harrison, 42, Jane’s younger sister, said: “My mum’s life stopped the day Jane disappeared. She had already lost one child when my sister Shelly died in a car crash when at the age of 17, but the not knowing what happened to Jane nearly killed her.
“She took on the two boys and did an absolutely fantastic job with them. She never asked for any help and took Taylor all over the country doing acting and modelling - and he has just shot a film with Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon.
“But only a year ago she told me that the first thing she thought about every morning was where Jane was and what happened to her.
“Mum knew that if she went down the whole family would fold like a pack of cards, but she dealt with it by blocking everything out. The waiting and wondering night after night was horrendous for her.”
Mrs Harrison was born and bought up in Islington and worked most of her life as a caterer at the Old Bailey.
More than 100 people turned up for her funeral at Our Lady and St Joseph, in Balls Pond Road, Islington, when her family also took the opportunity to hold a memorial service to Jane.
Claire said: “Even though the police have said they think she is dead on national TV, and we all think the same, we haven’t got a body so we have never been able to say goodbye properly.
“The day Jane went missing she had taken the meat out of the freezer at her home in Poet’s Road, Highbury, and was really excited because she was going on holiday to Florida.
“Jane and her boyfriend went shopping to pick up a few last minute toiletries and were seen on CCTV in Wood Green shopping centre.
“Jane was smiling but they went into the car park and then it’s as if she was picked up by an alien.
“There has never been one possible sighting of her. She has never used a bank card or been to a dentist.”
But the family still hope that one day their questions will be answered.
“I always thought we wouldn’t find out what happened to Jane until after my mum died as it was god’s way of sparing her the details,” said Claire. “And I’ve got a feeling something might happen now.
“In the whole time I knew her all my mum ever knee was grief, and she was in great piaan right up to her death. But the people on the Nightingale ward at the Whittington Hospital were fanatic with her.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to them, the Kingsland Arms pub in Dalston for a wonderful wake and to Jamie Rogers who printed all the wonderful family photos for the service.”
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