Why I’m Tired of 9/11

– Posted in: Family, Grief, Logan's Story, Memories, Mom dying, Momless, Personal Insanity, Tammy Thinks

Last night, right before I turned off my computer, I saw a Facebook post and remembered — oh yeah, tomorrow is 9/11. And this was the first thought that entered my head:

Damn it. I am so sick of 9/11.

The last thing I want to do is post something on my page about it. Not because the dead don’t deserve to be remembered. Not because it wasn’t a tragic day in our history. Not because it didn’t change us irrevocably.

It’s because I’m so tired of being reminded to feel bad.

There are two months out of the year that don’t contain either the birthday or “death” anniversary of someone I love who’s gone. Make that someone I “loved.” I realize that statistically speaking, this is just a product of getting older. More people die the longer you live. I know that those other two months will get filled up before I know it.

But I’m just done. It’s enough that I have to mourn the people whose favorite foods I knew. Whose voicemails I still listen to. Whose handwriting I recognize. It’s enough that two of my friends’ moms just died and another’s is dying. Right now, I don’t have the emotional fortitude to take on the stories of grief from almost 3,000 people whose lives already made me cry.

Yesterday, when my husband was clearing out the shed, he found an old lounge chair. The fabric was ripped and dirty, so he stuck it next to the garbage can. This lounge chair was my mom’s. Her aunt and uncle bought it for her when she got cancer the first time — so she could rest. When she’d recovered from that and I had my kids, she brought it to my house so she had somewhere to lay while she watched them. It’s always been “Nan’s chair.”

World's Worst Moms - daughter in Nan's chair

Nan’s chair, in better days.

Do I throw this thing away? Do I hang onto a ripped, dilapidated piece of lawn furniture because it was my mom’s? Do I move it from house to house with me for the rest of my life?

Or how about the hair products I never use that my cousin gave me. How long do I keep those? His death-i-versary is in just a few days. Do I hang onto those for a few more years so I can see them in my bathroom cupboard every time I open it?

Where does treasuring keepsakes end and hoarding begin?

I am just. . .

I’m just so tired of being reminded to feel bad.

I don’t need one more day. I don’t need September 11th.

I have plenty of other days to “Never forget.”

 

 

23 Comments… add one

acorporatewife September 11, 2013, 1:12 pm

There’s another way of looking at it. Maybe we’re not being reminded to feel bad. Maybe we’re being reminded to feel hope, to feel stronger for our ability to heal, even if it is very, very slowly. At least, that’s how I like to think of 9/11 now.
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Alexa September 11, 2013, 1:27 pm

I understand where you are coming from on this. So don’t look at it as a day to feel bad. Remember it as a day that America showed her strength, resilience, and the absolutely amazing country that we have.

(and yes, I did post a Remember 9/11 post today, but more because I was on active duty and it was a big freakin deal when I realized we’d be going to war. WHAT???)

hugs. I’m sorry for all your losses.
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Clearly Kristal September 11, 2013, 1:27 pm

Tammy: I know what you mean…I also know that you’re not saying this to be insensitive. It can just be so exhausting to be sad on an annual, or “whenever” time basis. I use the anniversary of 911 in a different way…I am not sad. I use it as a time to remember our strength, our resilience as a nation and people. I try not to dwell too much on the sadness and negativity. I feel like “they” win if I do that. Not sure if that helps or not. On another personal note, I have names of people who passed away, and I can’t seem to delete their names from my contacts. I feel like when I’m ready, I’ll know it. Just like your chair perhaps?

Cheryl S. September 11, 2013, 2:02 pm

This was a beautiful post. I do understand. Thank you for being able to express this so poignantly.

Tammy October 2, 2013, 1:32 pm

:)

Molly September 11, 2013, 4:24 pm

i know how you feel. xo

Tammy October 2, 2013, 1:32 pm

I know. xo

Mary September 11, 2013, 5:43 pm

I so totally and completely agree with you. I have thought the same things and frankly, Logan is far more in my thoughts than a tragic event of 12 years ago. 9-11 was horrible and sad. But every day there are OTHER things that happen to us and other fears to face. It’s also a downer as Sept 14th is my birthday and it will now always have a bit of a cloud around it. Not sure that came out right, but I think you know what I mean. I just don’t want to keep grieving and grieving and grieving. We will never forget, for sure, as nobody will let us.

Mary September 11, 2013, 5:44 pm

BTW, I can hear your mom…she says: “Tamara! Through that thing out! I don’t want you to think of me because of a damn chair!”

Tammy October 2, 2013, 1:32 pm

That was perfect. That’s exactly what she’d say and how she’d say it.

Exactly what I needed. xo

sisters from another mister September 11, 2013, 8:27 pm

So much pain all around the world, it will never end.
There will always be more, more wars, more loss, more deaths, more illnesses.
But …. and yes, there is a but … our pain shows us how much we care, how very much we feel, how very much it all matters to us … and that, that right there makes you a good soul. Because you love deep.
Kind and caring and loving … but tired and weary and sad. Life is hard, we can get mad at what others expect of us … its okay.
I wish I could give you a hug xxx

Tammy October 2, 2013, 1:31 pm

Thanks you.:)

Stephanie September 11, 2013, 10:36 pm

You are not the only one. After 12 years of this, it’s time to let it go. It’s like ripping the band aid off of an old wound and allowing it to hurt all over again. We are all only human. We have to heal and move on.

My grandparents told me that they never wanted to remember Pearl harbor. It was such a frightening atrocity for them, that they did not want to commemorate the day. This is why we honor or veterans on Veterans Day, for their service, and their deaths.

All I can say is, it’s time to move on, and let go, and remember it in our own way.

Tammy October 2, 2013, 1:30 pm

It’s interesting that they look at it like that. It makes a lot of sense.

Emjoi September 11, 2013, 11:34 pm

I have to agree with you Stephanie, although this is such a difficult topic to talk about without offending someone.

vanita September 12, 2013, 5:02 am

girlfriend, i was there, i watched the second plane hit, i was one of the many in the streets trying to get home to our kids before it got even worse, before it was too late. Now, if I must take the J train, which had an incredible view of that area and the building when traveling into manhattan, I no longer look out the windows. I don’t want to see the view anymore. I have not been to that end of manhattan since. (I also can not hear a helicopter. It freaks me out. Brings back memories.) I’m tired of being reminded. So I ignore it. I keep the tv off. I scrolled past all posts and updates that had the term 9/11 and i went on my merry way, getting work done and out of the way to be with the family. Does it make me insensitive? The question is insensitive to who. Not my loved ones. Fact is, we are here and gone in a blink of an eye and I don’t want to spend that short time grieving over the same things .
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Tammy October 2, 2013, 1:28 pm

I don’t blame you one bit. I don’t know if I could stomach thinking about that over and over.

Stacy September 12, 2013, 7:06 am

I love your post, and I totally agree with your feeling. I think it’s so important we remember that everyone manages their feelings differently. (Which is why I wrote the post on BlogHer that you commented on — I don’t like feeling like I’m not ALLOWED to not like the 9/11 media/memorial drama.) I remember when I was young feeling determined that I would live life with no regrets; what I was too young to know is that the regrets and losses and grief stack up without our permission.
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Tammy October 2, 2013, 1:27 pm

“What I was too young to know is that the regrets and losses and grief stack up without our permission.” Yes. So easy to live life “the way you want” when you don’t have any of this on your plate yet.

Andrea September 12, 2013, 1:02 pm

I am so sorry about your losses, Tammy. It is so hard to be reminded of the day we started to grieve. Love to you.
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Tammy October 2, 2013, 1:23 pm

Thanks Andrea. Thanks for being so supportive for such a long time.xo

Lissa October 17, 2013, 11:58 am

Another beautiful post :) I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my husband and twin daughters when I was pregnant with my son. In the early years of my bereavement I held on to EVERYTHING – clothes, toys, books, scraps of paper – everything. As time went on, and as I began to heal, I was able to donate most of these items, and keep only the personal mementos for myself and my son (for when he was older). Actually, let me clarify here. I don’t mean to say that time was what healed me, as so many platitudes would have us believe; time and distance can give us perspective, but time alone does not heal IMO, as feelings don’t understand time. No, it was more that as time passed, and my son was born, I had a reason to go on, a reason to commit myself fully to life again, even after the tragedy that struck our family. There wasn’t a perfect time when all of the threads were cut and tied off so that saying good-bye was entirely painless. But somehow, there did come a time where I found myself in a moment when everything I was holding onto, out of my own longing, guilt, remorse, and fear, was no longer useful. It wasn’t a happy time… but it did feel complete.

I don’t know if this is helpful at all, but I hope it is. It took me a long time to get to the point where I could stop hoarding everything belonging to my late loved ones and keep only treasured mementos. As you well know, with grief, there is no “right” time, it’s different for everyone, but you’ll know when it’s the right time for you… in fact, I suspect you already do. :)

Tammy October 20, 2013, 1:11 am

Lissa, you have an incredibly big heart. To go through what you’ve gone through and then be able to focus on my, frankly, comparatively annoying whining is quite amazing. Thank you for sharing your story and writing such a beautiful note.

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