Post 9/11

Another anniversary

Another year since…

Why do we continually mark this day of the year?

Why do we annually remember?

Honoring traumatic feeling-states helps us to continuously move the energy that we suffered from and around the initial trauma. The death of a loved one, or in this case, the devastation of our way of life that happened on September 11th, 2001, is not a feeling that we can come to peace with and get over. The depth of tragedy 9/11 created is something we all live with. It affected our sense of security, our finances, it has even affected the amount of time we have to spend at the airport, being mindful not to leave a bag unattended for fear of a bomb inside and “can you open your bag so I can inspect your contents” is the new normal for most public events. The trauma of 9/11 has affected us in so many ways that changed our daily habits and changed our beliefs about security.

Children that were born after 9/11/2001 were born to a different world than those of us born before. They don’t know that it was once safe to bring a water bottle from home on a plane or wear a backpack into a museum without being searched.

That is not to mention that a great majority of us actually were personally affected by either knowing someone on a plane or in one of the buildings or…

We all feel the collective mourning of a nation and world.

So why do we continue to mark this day of history? Because the trauma was so intense that our nervous systems are still processing the fall out. The depth of emotion that surrounds that dreaded day is unspeakable. Literally it is hard to speak about. It is out of context to our human experience. A way to stay sane is to pick a day of remembrance (the actual date) and allow ourselves to grieve the ungrieved parts of the trauma. When life takes such an enormous turn towards fear and loss, our bodies hold cellular memories and intense sadness. So each year, on the day of remembrance, we allow ourselves to feel intensely, whatever the feeling is: intensely sad, intensely angry, intensely scared.

Any feeling that starts with “intensely.”

When do we stop? When we collectively as a human race are done. Which in this case will probably be a really, really, really long time. Perhaps, not even until there is an entirely new generation on the earth that does not hold the same cellular memory.

On this day, I am sending love and empathy to all who grieve.


About Jean Wolfe Powers, LMFT