Anniversaries

September 12, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Death, Grief | 7 Comments

The tragedy of 9/11 and its’ anniversary are kinds of grief.   It is of course, an enormous source of grief for all of the families and friends who lost loved ones.  It is also the kind of grief in which you realize that the world as you knew it will not ever be the same.

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans the week that Jake passed away.   A very close friend of mine took her 5-year-old son in for his check up and the pediatrician found a rare heart condition.   My grandmother had died.  I felt like the world was coming to an end.   So, I asked the rabbi who presided at Jake’s funeral about the possibility that the world was ending.   He replied with an analogy.   He said that it is like when you decide you are going to buy a certain kind of car.   Once you make the decision you start seeing the car every where.   So, my take away from his explanation was now that I was grieving I would start to see grieving every where. . . Turns out you don’t have to look too far for grief in this world.   The record 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti shortly after Sawyer died.

I know that 9/11, where close to 3,000 people died; Hurricane Katrina, where 1,500-1,700 people died; and the earthquake in Haiti, where almost 230,000 people died are tremendous losses compared to the death of two babies.   But, those babies were mine.   And, my world will never be the same as it was before they had died.

There is not a contest for who has the most grief.   I am not trying to compare my losses to these catastrophic tragedies.   There are not any winners here.  In grief we have all lost.   However, there is still the next day and the day after that.  And one day, there is a point where we will realize that our loved ones are dead but we are still alive.

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  1. I was talking to Tess yesterday about the anniversary of 9/11. She said “Why do we celebrate the anniversary of something if it was bad?” It took a while to explain that sometimes anniversaries are times we remember things that were sad, recognize them, so we never forget. It made me think, six year olds can do that to you.
    I am always learning from your posts. It is amazing the people you are touching through this blog. Don’t stop.

  2. You said it yourself: the day after we are still alive. That choice isn’t ours, as the death of your children was not yours. But I believe we have choices and they apply to what we do with the life left to us. Your Fletcher and Alyssa are with you and need you and you can take comfort from them, even as they may at times overtax your parenting skills.
    There will be no light at the end of your tunnel but there can be lights along the way, as a friend of mine put it who lost her only daughter.
    I think it behooves all of us to be aware of the losses suffered every day – be it 9/11, Katrina, earthquake, flood or whatever – but we also have a commitment to the life left us, our own and that of those whom we love and who love us.
    I wish you engagement with and enjoyment of life.
    Love, Cornelia

  3. Your awareness within your own grief that there are others suffering as well is incredible. You have always been such a giver — and this site is another way…you are transforming your grief and helping so many. You are incredible my friend.

  4. Your contemplation and your words have much power Lanie. Thank you for being willing. xox

  5. Once we know grief, once we wear it, we are forever attuned to the grief of others.
    It is a sacred club, one that we did not choose to belong to, but belong to it we do.

    I sank to the depths of my own grief last night. I could not see any light. Only darkness and despair and lonliness. This morning I feel empty, drained, washed. I don’t know if that was my rock bottom. Maybe I had to hit it and can now begin crawling out of it.

    There is much I don’t know. But I am trying.

  6. I agree with Daphne…. you are an incredible woman and you have always given to others. Thanks so much for writing and sharing your experience so others may receive an amazing gift from you. I continue to pray for you as you continue on your journey.

  7. You’ve summed it up perfectly. Rare wisdom.


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