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.”
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.”