I was hesitant to post a blog tonight because any topic related to dating, relationships, and the general woes of being single seemed grossly trivial compared to the somber commeration of 9/11’s ten-year anniversary.
The minutiae that make up our day to day lives – the little joys as well as the irritating dramas and stresses – seem inconsequential and silly when we think of the tragedy of that day and the traumatic losses that have burrowed permanent holes of grief for those who have lost loved ones.
But maybe that is the point. The living are supposed to keep on living their lives as best they can. We are supposed to forge ahead and make our lives as full and impactful as possible in order to celebrate life. Whether it is in the face of news that a friend is sick, a relative has passed away, or a senseless accident has taken a loved one from us – these events shed light on what we do have, big or small, and force us to be grateful for what we have.
As I sat on my dog haired covered couch this morning watching the Reading of the Names on NY1, I didn’t notice the time pass. I was mesmerized and moved to tears. The children reading the names of their own parents, and the women who mourned the loss of their husbands hit me the hardest. I’m guessing their stories are what I can identify with most.
On this day ten years ago I was in Los Angeles with my ex-husband. We had recently moved there from NYC, nine months after our wedding. We were asleep when the planes hit the towers, and a friend’s anxious voice on our answering machine woke us to the news. We both had friends in Manhattan, and I had a family member who worked next door to the Towers. I remember feeling stricken and disconnected, watching the life altering events on the television happening in the city I loved – which I had felt I had abandoned – as the sun shone brightly over the Hollywood Hills and the birds chirped happily in my backyard. The stark incongruity intensified the surreal nature of it all.
In the weeks that followed, both my husband and I had fallen into an incapacitating depression, and looking back, despite the obvious, I think it was because we couldn’t be there to face the impact of it head on – to look at the evidence in the face.
They say that in order to properly grieve, you have to allow yourself to be swallowed up into the depths of it and feel it, before you can begin to heal. I can’t help but invoke the comparison to divorce, or any kind of loss. Running from the pain, denying it, going through the motions of having moved on without exploring the effects of a painful loss thwarts the healing process. And it doesn’t serve to honor the life that once was either.
So instead of going about my usual Sunday routine, today I sat and watched the memorial services on TV. All day. Again, I viewed and attempted to connect with a tragedy via the filter of a TV screen. Should I have gone downtown to the site, should I have attended some kind of commemoration service in person? Maybe. But I wasn’t really sure what would be the right thing to do, or what I needed to do. So instead, I chose to continue living. Living my little life. And that includes blogging.
Maybe it’s about finding a way to strike a balance. Live, laugh, and love, while also being somber. And never forgetting. Maybe if we can inhabit both feelings within the same moment, we can live our lives to their fullest.