Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Into the Light.

Today is better than yesterday. On the 11th-One has to find other ways to be busy-ways that do not include television-radio or any other media. As a New Yorker, I often wonder if the horror of that day will ever go away. Recently, I saw a piece on t.v. in which some family members of those lost that day said they didn't want to be disrespectful of their lost loved ones but the yearly, visual horror-filled reminder just never lets them be at peace. There is, for them, no closure. Some of the women say, that they just get their children back to sleeping normally and functioning in school when it's time to re-visit the pain again. I get it. Last night I had the t.v. on while I cooked dinner and I began, after 5 minutes, to find it unbearable. I'm tired of crying and so I get what the members of these families were saying. I think, at some point, it becomes unhealthy to spend a year trying to forget only to find oneself at that awful place again, and again...forever.
People in Manhattan are, in great numbers, very sick. They inhaled the horror and now they find they cannot breath properly. I live out here in the island and I smelled it-it was awful, caustic, frightening smell. The horrible smell of that day will take many more victims with it.
I hope I don't offend anyone because it's easy for me to talk about a nightmare that did not directly affect me but I think of all those children who lost parents and just about get their lives back to something that resembles normal-only to be faced with a day of endless, utter sadness. They need to find a way out of this darkness.
For me, that day was the beginning of a year long journey into a deep & frightening depression. In retrospect, I think it was the loss of control over what happens to your life. That's an unusual thing for Americans to be faced with. We are so fortunate to be able to go about our days with the idea that we can, pretty much, do as we please. We can orchestrate our lives and be comfortable in knowing that each day generally unfolds in a pattern that we have made for ourselves.
On Sept. 11th, 2001-I became so depressed and afraid that I couldn't do anything but sleep, eat too much, and drag myself through the endless abyss that I fell into. I never really told anyone in my family for months. I would get up-do the morning thing, make the lunches, kiss the boys goodbye, smile like a Stepford wife and then go and sit on the couch and stare and cry and be silent with these awful dark thoughts. I became house-bound. Only out for things I couldn't avoid. Agoraphobia big time! Eventually, I learned a bit about the computer(didn't have to go out for that) and I discovered that there were people who liked quilting and art and wrote about it. Enter..You! In a way, among the people that made me feel alive and vital again here, I found a wonderful, artistic, amusing, giving, group of women. I guess the moral of the story is-life unfolds in strange and wonderful ways before our eyes, even when we are nearly blind with pain and fear.
What a great gift.
I hope your Sept. 12th is a beautiful day-we all deserve it.
Off to do some errands...


Rian said...

Whew. What a poignant memory. Thanks for sharing. I'm so glad you found your way to the light.

Kim West said...

I generally don't watch the news because I hate the way they hash, rehash, and totally pulverize tragic events till we are all sick of hearing about it. Not to make light of the events, but we all need to get over it - but no, they have to drudge up memories that there is a reason that there is a saying "time heals all wounds" - but no - they have to reopen that wound yearly - it will never heal.

Terry said...

What a beautiful post.

I read another blog yesterday, by a New Yorker who said, "enough with the mourning. We all need to move on. All this breast beating tells the terrorists they have won." It got me thinking that what some of us view as respectful remembrance and honor to those who died is, for those of you who were so close to the action, a return to the immediate fear and sense of helplessness--really poking a wound that may have finally been starting to heal and I felt bad for everyone in that situation. Now reading your blog, I realize that my friend Dee is among those. So I am of the belief now that our memorials and remembrances should be private and future focus should be on the positive and let September 11 be just another wonderful fall day again. And yes, my September 12 is really beautiful and I hope yours is as well.


dee said...

thank you Terry-that's exactly what I was trying in such a clumsy way to express. Never forget but move on with life.

Tanya said...

That was a lovely post. I understand about your comment on closure. It seems very crass for someone who hasn't gone through pain and suffering to suggest that someone else should try and forget and that it is unhealthy to dwell on sadness. I am glad that you found a way to focus on the positive. I hope others will be able to take their minds off the tragedies in life and find something that they can smile about and not feel guilty for the smiles.

Jane Ann said...

Dee, thank you for your post. Most of our country was saved from the personal affront you suffered, and you put a voice to the heightened shock and misery you "locals" endured.

I once heard something to the effect that grief that is prolonged is grief that is nurtured. It IS time to put it to rest, but constant exploitation by politicians and media don't allow closure. I was glad to hear that at least there will be no more commemoration ceremonies at Ground Zero.

Oddly, the piece I wrote on my blog was totally spontaneous--I had no intention to mention the date or our experience of it. But midday I felt a strange compulsion and it just flowed--maybe because our family never discusses it. And maybe not so oddly, my stepdaughter and her husband never mention it. Except that DSIL thinks the current war was justified, and DSD thinks totally that the two had no link. They just don't talk about the war. I think they don't talk about the day either--living it at the time was enough.

Glad you came out of the darkness. It's very lonely there and sunshine can come in the form of friends.


judy coates perez said...

dee, that was a wonderful post. Sept 11 is my sisters sober anniversary. Unfortunately for her this day that she should celebrate, now in her 19th year, is marked with sadness. Yesterday she told me she went to her therapist, she was so depressed by it.

my being scheduled to tape my segment on the QA show and then fly home on this day also made me feel ambivalent about it all.

I know we want to honor this day for those who lost their lives, and most especially for those who have to live with that pain. But seeing the footage over again each year the way the media does, I agree is too much.

Have a great time in Maine it should be really beautiful now with Fall coming and the tourists having gone home.

Gerrie said...

I am a little late to this lovely post, and of course, I consider myself to be your very favorite, #! blogging friend who came in to your life. VBG

This was a very brave post. I was wondering when New Yorkers will be able to confront September 11 as a day of remembrance without so much angst and grief.

You are such a special person to me. Thank you for being there.

Janet said...

This is such a powerful post. I like the gentle way you approached the subject and I wholeheartedly agree with you. Everyone needs a period of time to deal with their grief but then they need to move on and live their life.

I'm so happy that you found your way out of the isn't any fun living there! This world of bloggers is the most wonderful place and I am thankful every day for the wonderful people I've met through my blog....and you are one of the best!