This I Believe

Kellie - Colden, New York
Entered on September 13, 2007

Too grieve

I woke up, the sixth anniversary of 9/11, wondering— why I must grieve and why I grieve for people, I did not know.

Do I grieve for them or their families left behind? Do I grieve because I’m alive and recognize someone I didn’t know sacrificed their life for our country and my right to be free? Do I grieve thinking—I—may not be as brave.

I believe grieving, unfortunately is something all of us must go through, teaching us about life. It is a part of my being, which makes me appreciate what I have. For without the experience of sorrow, what would happiness mean? As without winter, how could I appreciate a spring sun that warms my skin? Without a hot summer’s day, how could I value a cool autumn breeze that blows through my hair, making me feel alive, with the belief, all is good with the world.

I assume I’m not alone, wondering why the mind chooses to remember and never forget where we were when the grieving process started. But for unknown reasons it is difficult to remember, where I was, what I was doing, or whom I was with, when on a certain day the sun shined upon my face and I realized I have life.

It is difficult to remember that single breeze which caressed my skin and made me appreciate my breath of life as I exhaled and said Thank-You. Why do I forget the number of times a loved one, said I love you and how I felt the first time, a lover told me the same?

I cried, for John F. Kennedy as our dreams marched down the street upon a black horse with empty boots and Martin Luther’s death before he could see the possibility of his dreams.

I wept for, Christa McAuliffe, our teacher and explorer who made our hearts lift with joy for the ordinary human going beyond.

Feelings of immense grief stymied me to stand stoic, as the twin towers inferno and wayward planes took many lives too soon. I grieved for them and I grieved for us with the realization, to often, we all forget to celebrate life or embrace our ability to live.

Do I grieve for those I do not know, because they, a solitary one or a multitude of thousands, held my dreams and I watched those dreams vanish in an instance? Or were they part of a sphere, a part of which was lost from our existence as humans. Are we not all, one family on this earth, and when one falls, it is like a single leaf falling from a tree branch, leaving an area of the branch empty.

I think often about those souls that were lost. I knew none of them but someone did and with much endurance, they had to suffer the loss of a friend, husband, wife, father, mother, daughter, son, or somebody that existed in someone’s world.

However hard, I do believe the grieving process takes all of us to a new level of life, where we learn life is a path from birth to death. Yet everyday we walk forward, living life, not grieving.

I believe we as humans need each other to survive, during our grief, celebrating life, and living as one.

So this day I will grieve and then, I shall walk forward, and hopefully with new appreciation, I will take the time and remember when the sun warmed my skin, the breeze caressed my arms, the first time and every time in between someone told me “I love you.” But most of all I will remember, we are in this thing called life together.