On September 11th 2001. the world was terrified. The terror in New York. That was the day we collected our plane tickets to fly to England to visit our daughter. The following day America started to bomb Afghanistan. We did not cancel our trip. It was wonderful and we were safe.
On September 11th 2007 my best friend’s sister died. A terrifying, rapid advance of cancer took her away. The shocking rapidity of her transition from life to death, a hideous reminder of how tenuous our hold is on what we imagine is never going to end. On that same day a horror began for my brother, my mother, my siblings and our children.
On September 11th 2014 my brother died. I was at school preparing for a big event that was to happen the following week. I received the notification of his death which had to remain within the family only. I could tell no one.
On September 11th, 2022, I watched the coverage of events following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. I cringed at the commentary from black clad Australian breakfast show hosts as they filled nearly every second of footage with puerile comment. The mispronunciation of Holyrood Castle nearly drove me to distraction! The musings about “Can you describe the feeling of the crowd?” outside Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Balmoral elicited almost hushed responses when the mood was still. Silent almost reverent. Gaggles of giggles when the mood was bordering on festive as the future was glimpsed by the arrival of the King or the “Fab Four”!
September 11th has been and will remain an anniversary day for me and mine. Over the years from 2001 to 2022 there has been no event that I can place in the “it was a wonderful day” compartment of my memories! Words held me and help me. They come to me when needed. “Evil will not prevail”. “Get better not bitter”.
More than ever now I know that lives well lived and well loved never end. Story and Ceremony make them eternal.