Tragedy is the most henious way for bonds to be formed. Murder. Natural disaster. Terrorism, foreign and domestic. These circumstances forge communities unlike anything that could organically be constructed. There is a peace, however traumatic, that comes with knowing you are not the only person wounded–and wounded this way. There is a familiarity that trauma brings in the presence of other people that cover pain the same way.
On this day, of all days in the recorded national history, we remember the collective body blow, this collective broken heart, and open wound still to some. At this time, on this day, amongst the grief, among the mourning–it is morning. It is still morning. In the places by which we gather strength and bury our seeds in grief, sorrow in anger, we need those that can recognize it’s morning, to let those that still mired in that soil to know the same thing.
Life, as hard as it can be, is still beautiful. There are still 24 hours in it, and there is still hope. What should not be glazed over is that grief unites and touches all forms of life…not just on September 11. But on June 11. October 11. December 11.
In the mourning, we cannot be allow the grief, such levels of grief to define whom you are and will become. You cannot just be defined by the thing that changed your life. You cannot become solely associated with pain and loss, that removes the environment that hope flourishes.
The promise that change can be better, that things can be regained, rebuilt…including ourselves. In associating ourselves with grief, with being so familiar or caught up in mourning settings, we cannot be anchored it. We cannot be so afraid of what life is like outside of that known realm of pain and loss that we unwilling or immobile to be known as anything else.
What has saved me in time of greatest pain was exactly what I’m doing now: writing. Being able to see what I’m saying to myself and maybe to tell someone else that may be able to offer that same hope.
I cannot stress the value of giving weight to your own thought, your own trauma, your own pain. Even being a person of faith does not grant any immunity from human suffering. If anything, it should make us sympathetic to it, and be change agents to lessen it.
There are resources available and constructed to be service in those trapped in these grief-heavy dark places, and those that seek them should not be shamed for accessing them.
The most intricate, delicate and long lasting thing that the body and mind do is only four letters: heal. We, as these anthropomorphic beings, are in a constant state of assessing and repairing. When those wounds are too great, we seek out help for those familiar our pain, but distant enough to diagnose and treat.
* Those of helping professions like branches of counseling, psychology and psychiatry are those healers of the invisible. The ones that see beyond walls or veils and are able to tell truth and light to where there may be none found. In times of greatest angst and tragedy, a listening ear is a lighthouse among a dark sea.
Life is not an open, active grave. There are portions are dark and horrifying, but only portions. It is was we do with the light we are granted, and whom we give and point that light towards is what matters.
*Today, without a doubt, will trigger horrendous and hidden memories for people whom can tell and relay where they were at what time when commercial planes flew into 90-plus story buildings, a field in Pennsylvania and the Pentagon. As we support those in grief, remember the dead, and attend all the rituals for today that may bring hope, love and peace, remember, too, that you must live. Remember, you shall live. Access those in your resource sphere that can help you when the grief becomes too much to bare. Even if you have to find them on Google. Being a help, asking for help, is not shame.