Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Using Your Words -- Remembering September 11th

Remembering 911
Image courtesy of

I still remember a lot about when it happened. I remember how tired I was that morning. I remember doing laundry on pinkish-burgundy carpet (we hadn't yet replaced it, figuring it would be years before little fingers touting Playdough and markers would stay out of the room) while the girls ran around me in circles chasing each other, half-naked.

I remember staring at the screen and wondering what my father-in-law would have thought about it (he'd recently been killed in a car accident). 

I remember being grateful my girls were too young to understand, and talking on the phone to a friend as we watched everything play out over different TV stations. Half the time, we had no words. Still, it was a shock, and we were there for each other, in silence. 

I remember knowing the ache of sudden, unexpected loss I had just felt (was still feeling) was being felt by an entire nation.

I remember how horrible it felt to understand this.

Catastrophic events (like today's) stay imprinted on our minds--they never go away. Some people are affected in a more personal way than others, but there's still an ache, a loss of words, a sadness, an emptiness that, many times, is hard to put into words. 

But, the truth is, even though it doesn't seem possible to ever move on after something so horrific, eventually the words that disappeared are exactly what enable us to feel whole again, when we again find the strength to express them.

Writing. It's a wonderful, therapeutic form of expression. Writing gives weight to what we're thinking or feeling when we're having a hard time expressing it with our mouths. Now is as good a day as any to remind everyone that though you may be hurting or dealing with loss or missing someone or not even exactly sure how you feel, you can write. You can tell the paper what comes to you. You can get it out there and let the outpour of doubts and pain and sadness and even joy and remembrance be a way of releasing those things, and letting them go. (And, once you're done, you can share it with the world, those closest to you, or no one. You can keep it forever, or destroy it. It's entirely up to you.)

We here at Operation Awesome write that we stand by you. We encourage you to use your words as medicine. To all those affected by September 11th in any way, we send our love and support and, during times like these, when words often aren't quite enough, we simply open our arms. Hugs to you all.


Stella said...

Nice post. Thank you.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Beautiful, Jessica! Thank you.

Becky Mahoney said...

Beautifully said, Jessica. Lots of love to those of you remembering painful things today.