As September starts, we come to the 22nd anniversary of remembering 9/11. Some of us remember quite clearly where we were when the crash happened. Some of us may not want to remember, seeing it happen live through a TV screen. Even if many of us were not near the attack, we were still affected by it.
What we felt
Witnessing 9/11 or hearing about it from a coworker, friend, or family member gave us a pit-in-the-stomach kind of feeling. Our insides dropped, our hearts jolted, and we were filled with anxiety. If we knew someone who was near the incident, our worry grew so intensely that it immobilized us. Maybe, we had felt something like this before when a loved one went away for the military. Are they okay? Will they come back? Terror, anger, gut-wrenching worry, uncertainty… It was something we never wanted to feel.
What we learned
9/11 taught us more about ourselves than we realize. We learned that despite the shock and horror, we are strong. Americans are stronger together. We are unstoppable when we work together. We can put other’s lives ahead of ourselves when it is out of humility and love, and that it is worth it. We also learned that we are tough, determined, and hardworking. We can handle anything we put our minds to. We all have a fierceness inside us, whether that is for our beliefs or our loved ones, we do our best to do what is right. We fight for what we love and protect our loved ones. Among the bad, we learned many good things about ourselves.
How we can apply this to our grief?
Experiences we encounter in life change us. Whether that is for the better, or for the worst. Sometimes, negative, challenging, or deeply difficult experiences can help us grow. Growth is key to success. It is how we learn, accomplish, endure, survive, improve, and live.
So, how can this apply to grief? Grief happens when we lose a loved one or experience something that causes us to suffer, physically and emotionally. It can cause pain, depression, and a feeling that gives us sense we are stuck in a deep and dark hole, with no way out. It can be overwhelming because of the amount of pain it brings and can be various different emotions to every individual. When we recognize the impact of our grief, we already accomplished the first step to overcoming it. Learning about our grief can help us understand ourselves and each other, which is the next important part; being together. While alone time can be good, benign together is also important. It can take our minds off our grief and distract us. It can allow us to be supported and find comfort. It can help us overcome challenges.
Remembering 9/11 is remembering the pain, sorrow, horror, and anxieties. But, let us remember ourselves and who we are. We are Americans, and stronger together. We are tough, determined, hardworking. We are fierce and fight for our loved ones. We protect our loved ones, willing to sacrifice for them out of love and humility. We can do all these things to help our grief, too. We can help each other, like that day when so many teamed up to save lives. We can do this, we are not alone.
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