Today there were numerous articles, conversations, and shows about 9/11 and commemorating those who died, as well as discussions as to how to best commemorate and remember 9/11.
What I found interesting was the number of “fights” (usually online) that I witnessed. People telling others that we shouldn’t be talking about it anymore, that we should be talking about it a different way, that there is a specific way to deal with how you feel.
This doesn’t seem right. I am not talking about politics here, I am not interested in discussing why 9/11 happened, who did it, or whether the right responses were taken. I am talking about people’s feelings.
When a person posts a picture of their mother/brother/grandfather and a comment on how much they miss them, we don’t tell them they’re grieving wrong. We don’t tell them that their friend or relatives death was years ago and to “move on”. We accept that this is how they grieve.
The people of the US lost something after 9/11. They lost the safety and security they had felt for years. Suddenly they were vulnerable, and people were scared. People were left to grieve, not only their loved ones, but also their lives as they had been–pre fear.
This was a loss, and this is something that people are still grieving about today. We cannot tell people to stop grieving and move on, and we can’t tell them that they are wrong to grieve or that they were lucky to have something to grieve in the first place. We have no right to do so. In the same way, they can’t tell us how to grieve. If we want to grieve by moving on and not mentioning it then that is fine too.
We all have the right to grieve how we want; most people would support that sentiment unquestioningly if I were talking about grieving a loved one, so just realize that this is real grief to and let people deal with it in their own way. If their grief, and their way of healing, isn’t harming you then please leave it be.