I met Sharon when she read an article about the book my husband and I wrote. She wrote me an email and eventually we talked by phone. After our first conversation, I remember turning the phone off on that warm August 2009 day, sitting under my favorite tree in the yard and weeping. The story she told ripped me to my very core and will never be sewn shut.
Sharon was on the 80th floor in one of the twin towers and while I will not go into details, her horrific journey to survival that day was so far beyond what my soul could imagine, that all I could do was listen in silence and disbelief. I read many stories after 9/11 and the heroic measures of courage that took place. My friend Sharon went through extensive therapy and emotional work. She has not only continued to grieve her own losses and the images she carries in her head but she also lost her only daughter in 2006.
When Osama bin Laden was killed I wondered how that would affect her grief. Was she elated? Did she feel as if some justice had been served? We emailed and I realized that for her and, probably many of the others, it was a prayer answered. It was a victory for them, for all of the United States, but it didn’t bring any of those loved ones back, or cause any of the memories to go away.
I’m a writer and a grief therapist. When someone goes through a traumatic event or a sudden loss often times the human body builds an invisible wall around the heart and mind to protect the person. Shock often prevents one from facing the true reality in front of them. Reality comes in waves, and the agony of grief follows behind it. For 9/11 survivors and the families of the victims, grief has no rules. This may be the 10th Anniversary, Osama bin Laden and some of his cohorts may be gone, but nothing changes the events of that awful day. Nothing can bring back those that are gone. I, for one, promise to honor and remember the survivors and victims forever. For Sharon, I have nothing but admiration and respect for her courage to keep living her life and to give back to others.
On September 11th I will wake up and I will be silent. I will sit with sadness for everyone impacted directly by the events of that day 10 years ago. Then, I will spell the word ‘hope’ in my mind, then I will spell it a little bit larger (HOPE) until finally it will be my prayer for that day and everyday for those hurting because of an evil that had nothing to do with them.
May God bless all of you.
I also want to thank the soldiers who fight and protect us every day.