Sunday, September 11, 2011
Ten Years On
Is grief healing? I'm not clear that it always is. Sometimes it seems like grief is one more way to suffer, to cling and congeal around sadness. Other times it moves energy. It is completely unmanageable, unpredictable and unnerving.
I find it fascinating that in some cultures, professional grievers attend funerals to cry and pull at their hair, wail, that sort of thing. It is thought in certain societies that grieving helps the spirit of the deceased move to a place of renewal, but that when loved ones grieve too deeply, the spirit can get stuck, hence the anonymous grievers do the work without any personal emotional attachment. It's a clever idea, a little too clever, perhaps. It is sacred drama, so who knows, maybe it really works.
What I know about grief is that it is inevitable, it is a part of being human, not that we're the only species who grieves - elephants, monkeys, dogs, birds, probably a lot of other animals as well - when we lose one of our beloveds, we grieve.
One way to move grief is to tell the story - where we were when we learned of the tragedy, which, in the case of today means where we were ten years ago when the twin towers came down in NYC, when the Pentagon was hit, when the plane was shot down over Pennsylvania.
Where were you? How did you find out? Then what? Tell the story today, and listen to the stories of others, hey? We cannot go back and undo what took place ten years ago, but we can be compassionate with each other and ourselves. It's the best possible way to navigate the common grappling with our ongoing national grief over 9/11. (Thanks to Krista Tippett of the OnBeing blog for the phrase "common grappling." Perfect.)
Salaam, Shalom, Peace.