7 years. We Remember.

I don't mourn well with others.

I had the opportunity to visit the observance of September 11 at the California Memorial in Clovis California.  I got there as they were setting up.  I took photos.  I even started a media stream on QIK, which you can find here.

And then I left.

I just couldn't stay.  My own grief is still too strong and too private.  The crowds were too close.  There were people there who were actually happy, and some laughed with their friends as they waited for the start of the ceremonies.

I think it is a testament to human strength that we can learn to laugh in spite of pain.  I remember how difficult it was after the terror for our nation to recover it's ability to laugh.

But I don't feel like laughing this morning.  I don't feel like being strong, or proud, or patriotic.  For some reason the old pain was fresh again, and I felt like I did that day as I watched the television in horror.

I want to weep, I want to be comforted, I want the world to make sense.

How many years until this old pain fades?  How long?  I'll let you know when it fades - if it fades.

Tomorrow is soon enough to be furious at man's inhumanity toward man.  Today I'll just lick my wounds again.


Scott Hatfield . . . . said...

I want to weep, I want to be comforted, I want the world to make sense.

We all want that, sometimes.

I remember where I was when the Towers were hit...at work, at Bullard. It was second period, my prep that year, and I first saw the pictures on a TV in the Bullard office.

The next day, when I began my classes, I did two things:

1) I quoted a passage from John's Gospel

2) I reminded my students that the terrorists did not speak for all Muslims, and that no Bullard student should be held responsible for their actions.

During my prep on September 12th, I went to my principal and expressed my concerns for the safety of our Islamic students (I had heard things from both faculty and students that alarmed me).

I don't know if my actions made the world any more sensible, but they gave me a sense that I was making a difference. Maybe the best way to find meaning in this world is not to look to the gods to supply us with an answer. Maybe the only meaning we can find is in our response to what seems mad and cruel.

Anonymous said...

I don't mourn well in public, either. In fact, I kind of suck at it!

I hope you don't mind a long comment from me. I found out I was pregnant about eight weeks before Sept. 11. I had already lost two pregnancies (one of which were twin boys, second trimester). So, while I watched I knew that the world would never be as carefree as it once was. I knew that the date would be sort of a dividing point in history. So, I rubbed my tummy and cried for the world that my children COULD inherit.

In November, we lost that pregnancy. It was devestating. I cried as we went to the birth center. Before I was put under anesthesia to remove the remains of the fetus, a nurse came up to me and said, "Don't feel sorry for yourself. It could be worse, you could've lost a relative on 9/11!"
That statement prevented me from grieving for three years. It was such an awful thing to say. I've seen that nurse since then and confronted her about it. She, of course, didn't remember saying it, but said that she "may have" said it because the "number lost was so great compared to just a miscarriage".

I don't understand that! Death is death. It's tragic anytime some innocent person dies at the hands of someone's rage/intollerance/malice. But, that doesn't make it less tragic than a kid losing their mother in a car wreck or a father losing his son to an unjust war. Why are the 9/11 fanatics (and, that's exactly what some have become...people who CELEBRATE the day (as you described)) not angry about the loss of MORE people during the war?

I have two children born before 9/11 and two born after. They were born into different worlds. On Sept. 11, 2004, I was sitting in my living room nursing a newborn P4. I grieved. Everything that had built up in those three years hit me like a brick. I grieved for my losses and the fact that the world would never be the same again. I grieved for the fathers and mothers who never got to kiss their children goodnight again. We can't let 9/11 become such a character that we forget the real, small, individual tragedies of the day.