Sunday, September 11, 2011


9-11, 9-11, 9-11, 9-11

It’s everywhere. 

I, like the rest of the country I suspect, am afraid to write the wrong thing, aware that I do not know what it’s like...

And that is where I stop myself. 
I do know what it’s like.
I do know what it feels like in the dark hollowness that filled the first months. I do know the effort it takes to place a foot, then the other on the floor.  I can talk with knowledge  about leaning into a day that would be “another” one without him.

And yet, I feel uncomfortable sharing this space with those 9-11 widows. It’s feels like Art’s death is minor, less than, overshadowed by their losses in such numbers on that day.

I feel like a freshman trying to get the senior girls to think I’m cool, that in some way, I’m just like them.  Did I say it right? Is there enough respect in my tone?

Somehow, their husband’s (and wive's) deaths feel more valuable than Art’s death.  Their losses were so public, mine a private little matter,  insignificant in comparison. Their losses marked and mourned by millions, by photographs, by stories of others. My loss only remembered by a few hundred.  Their losses such a turning point in our countries history, mine a single point in my little history.

My loss feels less than in comparison.

This is where I stop again.

Because I know them, those widows. 

They know me.  

They are me and I am them. If I met one of them, I am sure we could have a conversation about grief and getting through, under, over, and around it.  I am sure I would see them and think 10 years.  In 10 years I can be like them! 

Maybe I just need to remember a widow is a widow is a widow is a widow.

And there are no words for
the grief, 



or mine.


  1. Beautiful post, Kim. Your feelings are shared by so many of us but could never be put so perfectly. One thing that I have learned from other widows is that we don't play the game of who had it worse. I have had several comments from others about how "fortunate" I was to have had my husband for 4 years after his cancer diagnosis when other widows had to cope with a sudden or "more tragic" death. But those who have said this are not widows. They somehow like to hold a contest on who has the right to grieve more or whose grief is more worthy. WE know, however, that as you say, grief is grief- it is what it is. Thanks for saying this for all of us

  2. Very good post. So well said. As I remembered today and watched the memorial, what hit me was all the hero's we lost that day, but though I am close to where this happened, I didn't actually know them. I thought all these people were lost and they were loved and are missed and all were hero's to someone . A common bond, I too miss my husband, he is missed and he was MY hero - which I told him many times as he also fought a hard battle to survive for several years. I also felt that it doesn't matter how we lost our loves, we all share the pain, the loss, the grief a common bond amongst us all whether its shared in the nightly news or in the quiet of our own homes. The tears we shed are the same. A day to remember and a memorial broadcast around the world I felt the message is the same - even 10 years later or what time has passed we still miss our love one and will always love them and still feel the pain. To all those that don't get the way we do, maybe they'll understand even if it's just for today how painful grief is.

  3. I think of how hard it must be for the 9-11 widows to have their grief put on public display like some sort of public monument. They have no choice in the matter and it seems exploitative that it happens.

  4. I love your words. I had the same thoughts as a non 9/11 widow.