I remember exactly what I was doing when it happened. A morning that started out like every other day – then I heard the sirens, and the phone rang. What I heard sent chills down my spine, and to this day, I will never forget that intense wave of shock that swept over me. Shock quickly turned to panic, and I called my husband and my loved ones to make sure everyone was safe.
September 11th is a day this country and the whole world will never forget. Especially living in New York City, this day hits very close to home. Through all the tragedy and chaos, the one glimmer of hope was that we stood united. Everyone came together – feeling and seeing the love, support and compassion that even strangers gave to each other was inspiring.
We all process grief differently. For some it takes weeks or months, but for others it can take years. While your impulse may be to ignore the pain, suppressing it will only prolong the process. Grief is healthy. There’s no set timetable when it comes to healing.
When we experience trauma or a major loss, that grief stays with you. As time passes, you will find ways to live with it and accept it as part of who you are; you will learn to accept what you cannot change.
“What most people do with grief is attempt to forget – to get over it – which is quite contrary to the purpose of the emotion,” says Dr Mary C Lamia “Rather than try to forget, one must attempt to remember and cooperate with what your emotion is trying to convey.”
On this anniversary, it’s easy to get swept up in the negative experience and the emotions that come along with it. But it’s entirely up to you how you choose to remember. Rather than focusing on the tragedy or loss, why not think about what the experience has taught you? Remember the resilience of our country and how we emerged stronger than before.
If you are struggling to cope, there’s no need to suffer in silence. Sometimes, all you need is a compassionate ear; talk to someone who has experienced a similar loss. Most importantly, remember, you are not alone.