‘I don’t want to let him go but we have to’: Purple lanterns take to the sky for Frank Gruben

The unsuccessful search is over for 30-year-old Frank Gruben as the family prepares to put his case to rest

A lantern ceremony is set to take place at the Gruben family home in Aklavik on Jan 21. (Photo courtesy of Steven Gruben)

The Gruben family is preparing to release a set of purple lanterns into the sky this weekend in memory of Frank.

Frank Gruben has been missing for nearly ten months after mysteriously going missing in Fort Smith in May of last year.

This is part of letting go, says Steven Gruben, Franks brothers.

“I think of him daily, I just want to talk to him or know where he is,” reads a post to social media, “I’m scared for Sunday. I don’t want to let him go but we have to.”

Gruben says lantern ceremonies are common practice in the family, regardless of how someone has departed.

“You’re not to hold on to them, otherwise you hold them back from going to heaven,” says Gruben.

Gruben invites the friends and family of his brother to come light a candle, say a prayer, and set it free.

At this time the Gruben family would like to ask for some privacy heading into the weekend. Residents can also expect many of the social media groups for Frank to be deactivated.

The ceremony is set to take place on Jan. 21 at the family home in Aklavik.

Anyone with information about Gruben’s disappearance can call the Fort Smith RCMP at 867-872-1111 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. On her spare time, you can find her at your local coffee shop writing songs, poetry and prose or at the gym out-lifting men. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at mariah.caruso@cklbradio.com or call 867-766-2552 Ext 108