Remembering 9/11: 5 Years Later

Anniversary Date Reactions: September 11th, a day of collective remembrance and emotions for our nation. Many people who suffered direct losses on this day, as well as those who witnessed the tragedies on television, may find themselves re-experiencing feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness, frustration, and any one of a number of feelings associated with this traumatic and historically defining day.

Understanding and Dealing with Grief: Losses of all types tend to re-emerge with in our lives, sometimes predictably, such as on anniversary dates, sometimes without warning. Each time we experience the intensity of our grief, we do so as the person we are today, not as who we were five or two years ago, or who we will be five or twenty years from now. We face losses from new perspectives and understandings, and each time, although difficult, it usually won’t take as long or be as overwhelming as it was before.

In healing from grief, it can be helpful to focus on positive memories of the people we have lost, and celebrate their presence in our lives. We may not ever reach closure with serious tragedies, traumas, and the effects of human maliciousness such as those which we observed on September 11th. Instead, we grow older, hopefully become wiser, and reach out for opportunities to help each other. Closure is mythical; progress is not.

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