The Nightmare is Real
Your pain is so overwhelming, so
consuming, so numbing, so
unrelenting, so completely
personal to you.
How can anyone compare their loss with yours?
Their pain with yours?
Because there is no pain like yours.
Because it’s yours.
Deeper Still by Phil Ginsburg
On September 11, 2001, my 32 year-old son, David, died at the Pentagon. He was a husband, father, son, brother, nephew, cousin, and a treasured friend. In those first shocking, devastating, first hours and weeks and months after September 11, there was no relief, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. I used to believe that terrible tragedies only happened to other families. I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up, my heart had been shattered, and I was absolutely certain that I could not possibly bear the pain and anguish.
How does a parent survive the worst that can happen?
In the beginning it hurts so much that time will mean nothing and may seem to have stopped. You may feel like a robot, numb and cold, planning funerals and memorial services. I’ve heard that a merciful fog produced by a chemical in the brain helps grieving people through the first weeks. It doesn’t last forever, but it can help you through in the beginning.
Breathe deeply and feel your child in your heart. He or she may be gone from this world but your heart will never let go. I wear a pendant given to me by a fellow traveler on this grief road: “The Heart Remembers.” If you believe in God, you know your child will be there to welcome you someday, and that is the greatest comfort of all. It is said that the God of the Bible is the God of the brokenhearted. If you are angry at God or don’t believe in Him now, please keep reading and know that this book is for you too.
This book is written in the hope that my experiences over the past ten years may lead you to something that will give you a reason to go on living. Grief is a long and painful road with no shortcuts, but I promise that relief eventually comes. It’s been ten years and not a day goes by that I don’t miss David and think about what happened to him. I still get angry and sad, but somehow I have survived. I feel David tucked safely into my heart. He’s always with me.
We belong to the club no one wants to join and have embarked on a sad and lonely journey no one wants to take. Take my hand and I hope I can show you at least a glimpse of the light at the other end of your long black tunnel.