The hardest thing about a sad anniversary, is that there is a far greater understanding of what, exactly, was lost. At first, in the midst of the shock and grief and horror of the tragedy, there is a random list of things that loved ones will miss. But it’s not until the years have passed that the hypothetical loss becomes grueling reality. Not only did a daddy or a mommy miss a birthday, a first home run, a brand new driver’s license, but also infinite other wonderful milestones, that one could never, ever have predicted.
And on top of all these beautiful, missed moments, those in grief start to forget the sounds of their voices, their favorite music, or colors, or how they drank their coffee. Loss, many years later, is loss compounded over and over and over again, through generations of children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
On this ten year anniversary, I wish the families and friends who lost loved ones on 9/11, memories of steel. I hope their nightmares have faded just a little, and instead, when they sleep, magnificent dreams– about their sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, best friends, and lovers– bath them in love, so when they wake the next morning they begin their day with a little less pain. Peace, peace, peace be with you.