Grief Is a Solitary Journey — but Don’t Walk Alone

Three American flags waving in the breeze against a clear blue skyYesterday morning my husband and I watched a documentary about 9/11 on television. The filmmakers captured the horror, disbelief, terror, confusion, and utter devastation of that day as well as it’s possible to do on film. However, I couldn’t help but think there’s no way any of us who were viewing the program could really know what it was like to be in New York on the streets surrounding the World Trade Center ten years ago on 9/11. And we couldn’t know the experience of those who had loved ones directly involved in the tragedy — and who watched and waited to learn their fate as events unfolded.

We can listen as people tell us their personal stories about 9/11, and we can relate to the way our world has changed and the feelings we share, but we’ll never feel what those folks felt that day — or appreciate all they’ve had to cope with since then. That’s the way grief is. No one understands as does someone who has suffered a similar experience.

Grief is a solitary journey, and each person’s grief is uniquely his own. But it’s too difficult to try and walk the journey alone. Let someone who has been there help you.

My heart goes out to each and every person for whom 9/11 is a personal grief journey. As a nation, we mourn our loss. But we will never know the pain suffered by those who were there — or by those who lost loved ones that fateful day. Such is the nature of grief. We can, however, show those who are grieving that we love them and deeply care about what they’re going through … and we can be there for them.

© 2011 Judy Brizendine

About Judy

"Out of your deepest pain comes your greatest gift." Judy writes about grief and loss in a realistic, practical way - to help, inspire, encourage, and educate any who face loss in their lives. A fellow-traveler's approach to grief ...

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