I’m not sure when I’ll get the hang of this life after loss.
Five years is long enough to have completed a college degree, so you’d think it would be long enough to explore the edges of how to walk in the world without my son, without the family I used to have, without the confidence I once enjoyed that “every little thing was gonna be alright”.
But it’s not.
I’m still feeling my way in the dark much of the time.
New challenges greet me and I have to navigate them with the profoundly changed “me” that I neither understand nor like.
I make mistakes.
I get upset and I upset others.
If I didn’t believe that there was a Day when all this would be redeemed, I would just give up.
But I DO believe that.
It doesn’t take the pain away. It doesn’t soften the feeling of failure when my sorrow stops me being what others need me to be. It doesn’t blow soft breezes across my weary soul.
It gives me focus and a goal. It gets me out of bed so I persevere. It helps my heart hold on and not give in to despair.
It’s been nineteen years since the Towers fell.Hard to believe-no matter how great the tragedy, life goes on.
Like many, I was watching things as they happened that day.
My husband, an architect and engineer, saw the wobble in the first tower and knew, he knew, it was going to collapse. Horrified I began to understand that whoever was still in that building was running out of time.
And I cried, oh, how I cried.It was awful.
Since then I’ve lived my own tragedy.
My son was unexpectedly and instantly taken from us in an accident.
So when I’m reminded of 9/11 my heart takes me right to those left behind.
And while politicians and pundits can debate the reasons for the attack, can argue about what could have been done, should have been done and why and when-they can never answer the real question in the heart of every family who buried a loved one because of the events of that day.
Why MY husband, wife, daughter, son?How do I make sense of this senseless tragedy?
The answer is, “You can’t.”
You cannot know why one person chose to go this way and lived and another went a different direction and died. It’t impossible to understand the series of events that made someone late for work that day but lead another to show up early.
Last minute travel plan changes saved some from being aboard the fateful planes and put others in a seat.
I can’t know exactly why my son lost control of his motorcycle that night. I will live the rest of my life without an answer to that question.
It’s an ongoing challenge to face the discomfort of things NOT making sense. It goes against human nature to acknowledge that the world is far less predictable than we like to believe.
It takes courage to greet each new day with knowledge that ANYTHING might happen-not only beautiful and wonderful things, but ugly and awful things as well.
If I let my heart dwell on the questions of “why?” and “control”, I am paralyzed, unable to take another step.
There’s no clear path through a world filled with the rubble of broken lives and broken people.
So I turn my heart toward Christ and His promise to never leave or forsake me.
And I am emboldened to take the next step because I know He is already there, even in the dark.