Maybe it’s because my favorite season is drawing to a close, or perhaps it’s the looming allergies of fall, but I usually have a big case of the blues in September. Most people love this time of year – crisper weather, the prospect of New England’s leaf colors, apple picking, and maybe even the advent of the school year. I feel the opposite. It’s like a little death for me when summer ends. Couple that emotion with the recent anniversary of that horrific day 10 years ago when thousands of innocent people lost their lives, and you have a recipe for major blues. I’m from NY, so there were people in the towers that I knew. I cried for all those deceased, their families, and myself this week. In retrospect, it might not have been a good idea for me to read two books with deeply sad themes, Sarah’s Key and Room, at this tender time, but they are book club selections, so I read them anyway. By doing that I just may have unwisely tipped the scales of the appropriate amount of grief intake, making it just too hard to absorb so much at once.
The night of September 11th, 2011 I lay awake at 2 a.m. thinking about loss and all its incarnations: in addition to the grief of our nation, I lost my brother a year and a half ago to a heart attack. Due to recent unpleasant events, I lost a relationship with a formerly close friend. Last week a lovely woman therapist we greatly admired, and sometimes consulted, lost her battle with cancer. All this sorrow came crashing around me like discordant music, creating a clenching feeling in my heart. As I lay there quietly sobbing, a Barred Owl hooted her haunting bark-like hoot somewhere in our woods, breaking through the noise in my head. I slid over to my sleeping husband and pulled his arms around me. He must have felt my shoulders heaving because he held me close and stroked my hair. His warmth and gentleness eased my pain, and I became acutely aware of the comfort of human contact, of love.
I am not prone to dwell on the negative, or to allow myself a lengthy pity party, but sometimes too much is, well, too much. So, having had a good cry, I awoke the following day exhausted, but renewed in my commitment to love and comfort others as well as myself. Each of us is undoubtedly and indelibly affected by 9/11’s tragedy, and life is always throwing us curveballs, so in the face of that reality, I embrace today with my heart open and my arms ready. Loving human contact, kind words, thoughtful gestures – these are the keys to a good life. When I watched the History Channel’s show called “102 Minutes That Changed America” I was struck by the humanity of those around Ground Zero as the horror unfolded. Brave doesn’t begin to describe these people. They are my inspiration as I move through my sadness – their goodness, caring and selflessness are my goals today. Love is the answer. One day at a time, one person at a time.
All You Need is Love
Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.
-1 Corinthians 13:13