Life after loss
When in New York my mum and I went to visit the newly opened 9/11 Memorial museum. We went along with my friend Anna and her baby daughter Amelie.
I don’t think I need to write too much about what happened on the 11th September 2001. It’s without doubt one of the most horrific things to have ever occurred and is etched into the memory of every living soul who was alive when it happened.
The museum is located underneath where the two towers once stood and tells the story of that fateful day but also how everyday people turned into heroes to save others. As Barak Obama said at the opening it tells the story of “co workers who led others to safety, passengers who stormed a cockpit, men and women who charged into an inferno”.
I wasn’t sure what my reaction would be when I saw the memorial site. Is it something I would want to be reminded of? But I was really surprised at how beautiful it is. The areas where the towers once stood are now beautiful fountains with the names of those who lost their lives inscribed around them. The people of the untied states do not want to forget this tragic day. The museum is as inspiring as it is heartbreaking.
Having little Amelie there added a new dimension to my visit. She has taken a bit of shine to me and likes to call out ‘Geg’ at every given opportunity. When she sees me her little face lights up. One minute I’d be looking at these heartbreaking images and stories and the next I’d hear ‘Geg…Geg’. I’d look down and there was this little beautiful face smiling back at me completely oblivious to all the horror that had occurred that day 13 years ago. It was lovely having her there as once again it was that little reminder that at this present moment all is well and there is a lot of love and hope for the future.
Something that has stayed with me since I visited the museum was hearing a voice message left by one of the victims of Flight 175 for his wife. Believing he was going to die this amazing man called Brian Sweeney phoned his wife and left a voice message telling her that he “absolutely loved” her and wanted her to “do good and have good times”. A selfless message saying that he wanted her and his family to be happy without him.
As heartbreaking as that message is, it is also lovely because he loved his wife so much he wanted her to be happy again and not spend the rest of her days being sad that he was no longer there.
I have met and received messages from people who have lost loved ones far to early in their lives. Some have told me that when they find themselves feeling happy it sometimes makes them feel bad because they their loved one is no longer with them. As I’ve said before I believe happiness is our ultimate goal in life. It the right for everyone to experience this but many struggle to find it. If I hadn’t survived cancer I would definitely wanted my family to ‘go and do good and have fun times’. I certainly wouldn’t want to think of them being sad and angry all the time and not enjoying life.
As heart breaking as Brian’s message to his wife is, it’s also lovely because he got to tell her that there is still a life after tragedy and that it’s ok to feel happy afterwards.