Yesterday 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.