Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I sat down here so many times to write a post yesterday, and I just couldn't get the right words out. I wanted to say something in tribute to the victims of September 11th, which in a sense, are all of us. And as I sit here now, typing and deleting, I see that I am not any closer to having something that feels like the right thing to say. Except that yesterday my thoughts wandered to the day after. I remember going to work, and unlike the day before, we didn't all sit in front of the television shocked by what we were seeing. We actually had to go back to work. And it seemed odd that time couldn't stop any longer. Life went on. So it occurred to me I would write something today about tomorrow.

I could say something about the indomitable human spirit. But I don't know. I think if we had our choice sometimes we would just choose to stay in the moment of our grief for a longer period of time. I have seen that my own beliefs of a definite purpose for this life, a belief in a life after this one, and in a loving God who is our Heavenly Father, do temper my sense of being overwhelmed by human tragedy. And as I reflect on some of the terrible things that have happened to humankind over the centuries I have found great comfort in the fact that this life is not all there is, death is not the end. It occurs to me that the necessity of moving on, the necessity to keep going may be the work of a merciful God, even though it may not feel like it at the time.

On the first anniversary of 9/11, I sat down to write about how I was feeling. I said that the real enormity of the tragedy was that human beings would inflict that kind of horror on other human beings. I thought about posting that yesterday, but I wondered if it might seem disrespectful to those who died that day. I re-watched some footage of the awful event and I didn't want to minimize it at all. I didn't want to come across as trite and full of platitudes about suffering and death and what gets us through. But as I have thought about it, I simply can't keep my knowlege of a bigger picture out of how I view the events of that day.

Ben's father passed away from cancer a little over a month after September 11th. We boarded a plane at the beginning of October, not without some trepidation for why (and how) we were going. (Because our tickets were purchased the same day we traveled, security went through our luggage pretty thoroughly.) We were flying to Seattle, where Ben's mom, Dana, was trying to decide whether or not to bring George home from the hospital, for good. So for me, yesterday's anniversary is sort of a pre-cursor to next month's anniversary, where I watched my husband lose his father and my mother-in-law lose her husband to a disease that was awful in its own way. That was something else I wrote about on the first anniversary. After that it was hard to go back to normal life. Like we should have at least a few months where no one had to go back to work or school, and that the bills would just somehow get paid and we could focus on, well, not those things, becaused they seemed so trivial.

But life goes on. It just goes on. I think that "passed on" is more than a euphemism for saying that someone died. It's because they really are moving on to someplace else. And it is important that I write this. There is more than just this life. Yes, some go more easily than others, and why this is, I do not know. But I do know that after hard times I have been given the next day, and the next, and the next. And that has been a blessing.


  1. "the victims of September 11th, which in a sense, are all of us."

    I really liked that. We're also all survivors who need to keep "passing on".

  2. This is a really good post. Thanks for writing it.