10 Year Anniversary of 9/11

So many people are posting or emailing about 9/11, talking about 9/11, messaging on various social media networks about 9/11. So many programs on the TV, on the internet, in the newspapers are covering stories and remembrances of 9/11 from so every angle imaginable. Momentos. Pictures. Narratives. Interviews with family members, children, news reporters, firefighters. On and on. It’s everywhere. It hurts all over again.

It’s right to take time on this sober anniversary and remember. Remember those who died. Remember those heroes who worked so selflessly, trying to save lives. Remember the families of those who died. So many people…so many lives…so much loss…so much pain.

Some days you never forget. I remember the day President Kennedy was shot. I remember the day the space shuttle Challenger exploded. And I will never forget what happened on 9/11. It cut right to the very heart of our nation, our identities, our security. It affected our nation as little else has. It’s important to reflect on what this anniversary means to our country and how it changed all of us.

The 10 year anniversary of the death of our precious son is less than 6 months away – March 3, 2012. It, too, is a painful and sobering anniversary for our family on a very personal scale. I don’t mean to compare it to the grand scale of attack on America that the horrific anniversary of 9/11 represents. We, as a country, will never be the same. But, as the actions of a few terrorists pierced the heart of our country and tore away our innocence, shaking our nation to its core and changing us forever as a nation, so the actions of one person pierced the hearts of our family and those who knew and loved Jason and Alina, shattering our lives and breaking our hearts on a very personal and individual scale. Our lives will never be the same, either.

As we pause and remember those who lost their lives on 9/11 and also remember those families who lost dear loved ones on that day, I just feel like it’s important that we remember and take notice of those in our own sphere of influence who may be observing sad, painful anniversaries. There are those who, at some point in the next few months, want to hear that someone notices and cares that they are marking the anniversary of the death of a loved one. Take time to notice and observe that loss, too. Or maybe the birthday or another event concerning their loved one is approaching. Remember. Write a card. Make a call. Send flowers. Do something. Do something kind and practical for someone right in your own back yard. It makes a difference.

Remember: “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mark Twain [who was also a bereaved parent, by the way]

“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” William Penn

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9 thoughts on “10 Year Anniversary of 9/11

  1. I couldn’t agree more about kindness. The problem is that people forget because they go on with their lives and unless we are showing outward signs of struggling, they genuinely forget. Only the people closest to us remember and sometimes even they forget. It’s our cross to bear I’m afraid, and sometimes we have to make those days special for ourselves. After a year had gone by and we were going to court, and my daughters story was all over the news, people started sending me emails like “hey, haven’t heard from you in a while, how are you?” etc… I HATED that! They only remembered about us when the news prompted them. Yes, they were being kind but I’d rather nothing – maybe that sounds ungrateful, but somehow it hurt more. One thing is, we sure learn who are true friends are when our kids are married and those who are worth discarding! Too bad, I not only lost my daughter but some people I thought we worth something – obviously I was mistaken.

    • I struggled, too, with feeling like after a year it seemed like people (most who we hadn’t heard from) thought it was an appropriate time to contact us again, asking how we were doing like we should be “over” it by then. We had very, very little support at all. Most people disappeared, and the people we depended on for support were not there. It has not been an easy journey, that’s for sure.

  2. Thank you for this reminder, Rebecca. My best friend lost her dad several years ago, and I am ashamed to say that I have not been a figure of support around anniversaries. We were both kids before, so I didn’t know how to do that for her, but now that we’re adults, I will make the effort to be there for her. Just because I see her doing well the rest of the year, doesn’t mean the anniversary isn’t still hard. Thanks for this.

  3. Becky, I so hear you on this. As all the public display about the 9/11 anniversary was happening, the news stories about the NJ court ruling saying it is okay for employers to tell bereaved parents to stop talking about kids who died because it disrupts the workplace came out, too:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/09/cecelia-ingraham-new-jers_n_956266.html

    Talk about ignoring the personal sphere of influence — my heart just aches for all that Cecelia went through at that work place — while the world around us was making big public griefportunities out of 9/11. And not that our individual losses are like the major 9/11 loss but it is just as shattering to each of us, each of our families…but we hit 10 year anniversary dates and people begin to wonder “aren’t you over it yet” — “maybe it’s been a long while and you should get some help” or the court rules that it is okay for an employer to tell a bereaved parents she should pretend her child never existed!!! It’s such a double standard. Not any grief experience will be the same for any two people, and there is no one right way or prescription that fits us all, but geesh… I just ache for all the people who are so alone in their path or worse told public displays are not okay while the 9/11 stuff is big biz each year. Which btw the whole “big biz” of it must suck for the individual 9/11 families themselves, too! I feel sorry for whatever they get imposed upon with, too, each year…

    Anyway, I just wanted to write as one bereaved mother to you another bereaved mother and say thank you for the reminder about our personal spheres and of kindness. International Kindness Project Day was sooooo amazing for us each July that I keep Kindness Cards with me all year long to try and do things… it’s amazing how a little kindness shifts everything!

    http://kindnessprojectday.org

    Miracles to you and my whole heart to you for your son’s death. Thank you for sharing all you are sharing here in your blog space!
    k-

  4. Yep, for sure a lack of understanding and kindness… so glad the blogosphere is here — so many of the bereaved moms I’ve met and communicate with regularly now are bloggers! That’s how we first connected. So glad Marianne sent me your link…
    Miracles,
    k-

  5. I will always recall September 11 as a tragic day for my family, since it was on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, just a week and a half ago, that I learned that my brother had died in his sleep the previous day. Thank you for your comment. It was nice to feel that someone had read my post and understood the pain I was experiencing. And your blog reminds me that, as terrible as I feel, my parents are even harder hit, and will need to be watched and cared for by me and my siblings.

    • Maria, once again, I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that you, your siblings, and your parents all have the support you need right now. In addition to supporting your parents, make sure that you take care of yourself, too. I hope you have someone with whom you can be transparent and who understands your grief. I felt like our daughter thought she had to be strong and be there for us, and that she ended up internalizing much of her grief since she had very little support. You may want to see if you can find a sibling grief support group in your area. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

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