Sunday, September 11, 2011
9/11--A Time to Weep
Like many of you, I've spent the last several days catching bits and pieces of news reports and stories from this date ten years ago. We all remember where we were and what we were doing that morning--the shock of watching the planes hit the towers, the smoke, the fear, the crumbling debris. The death and loss and grief.
Two thoughts--the universal experience of grief, and the importance of memorial--have kept coming to my mind.
Grief. Deep sorrow, esp. that caused by someone's death.
All of us experience loss and the accompanying grief in our lives: loss of employment, loss of relationships from divorce, loss of health, loss through death. And through all the losses I've experienced, I've learned that grief isn't something you "get over" or even "get through." Instead, this loss becomes part of who you are--you assimilate it into your life as part of you. Over time, the loss is not as debilitatingly painful as at first, but quietly waits in the shadows as a permanent companion, tiptoeing out through an unexpected conversation, or appearing through the grief experienced by someone else. The stories I've heard about these last few days have reminded me that there are many who carry a unseen burden of grief.
Memorial. Something, esp. a structure, that reminds people of a person or event.
Having a place to remember Annie at her grave has been helpful to us. It's a place to step away to a quiet place, be alone and remember her. And now, with the memorials in New York, Shanksville, and the Pentagon, the families of the victims of 9/11 have a place to remember. They've carried their invisible backpacks of grief for ten years, and now have a place to put them down and rest--especially important, I think, because many of them never were able to bury the remains of their loved ones.
Memorials are important because until Jesus comes and conquers the last enemy, death, there will be grief. And as long as there is grief, those that mourn will be comforted by memorials that remind the world what they know in their heart--their loved ones will never be forgotten.
"We miss and love you so much. I have your smile, your eyes, and your laugh, but I just don't have you." --Francesa Picerno, whose father, Matthew Picerno, died at the world trade center.