I timed this post to coincide with the time when the first plane hit the first tower twenty years ago. If you, like me, still hurt over the events which happened this day, still cry when the footage is released, still mourn the lives lost from that day to this, then I hope this brings your comfort. I lived through that day and I am old enough to remember with a cursed clarity. My father later served in the wars that followed and I had to watch the man I knew as my father morph into something deeply hurt and disenchanted. This is not just for you, this is for me. Because today hurts. Oh god does it hurt. But if you are hurting too, I hope this lets you know that you aren’t alone.
If today for you is a day of mourning, then please, take the space to mourn, but you are not the one dead. None of the people who died that day or since that day would want you to live in death forever. I come from a military family–people in my family have been fighting for freedom and the right to live as you choose for the past two hundred years or more so I can say this with some authority: others died so you can live–they don’t want you to die too either physically or spiritually. So, take some time, journal, read that frivolous book you’ve been putting off, walk, relax, be. Do something small for yourself that you others wouldn’t allow yourself to do–if you are on a diet, have a small treat and allow yourself to savor it. If you are a workaholic, take some time for something fun.
The world stood still 20 years ago. It didn’t end. Evil things are in this world and they will rear their ugly heads. The best thing you can do right now, today, is live. Remember the dead, but don’t forget to live. Shed your tears. But don’t forget to live. Don’t forget to do good, be kind, be compassionate, and be forgiving. Do good in all the small unnoticed ways, even if that means you have to do yourself some good.
Take care of yourself today. Take care of your hurts and if you can reach out to another who you know is hurting, then mourn together. But then take a moment to live. If that means gorging yourself on donuts for one day, then do it. If that means having a scotch while watching a thriller. Do it. If that means losing yourself in your latest creative endeavor. Do it.
Use your emotion to fuel your writing today. Let it all out on paper, in your word processor, your typewriter, whatever medium it is you use to create your work. Let it out. Lose yourself in it.
Remember, don’t forget, but live and live fully.