Remembering 9/11

Today is September 11th, 2010.

It’s a day to remember all of those who lost their lives nine years ago in the Twin Towers. And to pray for the families and friends that have survived, who struggle.

No matter what you’re stressed about, or what’s wrong in your life – you are alive and you can change it.

The best way we can honor those who have passed, as well as the people closest to us, is to fulfill our potential.

Start now.

Peace to all.

And remember, you are not alone …


Related posts:
9/11 Remembered (2008)

Loss and the Erosion of a Human Being

Feelings of loss permeate my existence. They often lie just below the surface of my conciousness, occasionally jumping out like flying fish that pop out of the ocean. Problem is, the feeling does not disappear back into my subconscious. And there are more fish than ever swimming around and popping up inside my head.

Loss seems connected to every facet of my life right now. Each one seems to have eroded a little piece of me. And although I’m working on rebuilding myself (the topic of a future blog post), I’m missing pieces. I’m incomplete, which makes rebuilding all that much harder.

What kind of loss has worn on you? Here’s a brief list of what I’m struggling with on a daily basis:

Loss of energy; loss of time with my boys; loss of our two daughters; Grandma Frances; Grandpa Rick; our families in New York (we’re currently living in Wisconsin); loss of my youth; financial stability; loss of intimacy; loss of the relationship my wife and I had before we had kids (dates, holding hands, long talks about something other than survival, romance). Until recently, I had lost my dream of making the world a better place.

Something I often wonder about is the loss of innocence. I still remember when I lost mine as a child. It happened on four separate occasions – all of which involved my father. Am I contributing to the loss of innocence of my boys?

I feel so burnt out. Every week, a little more so, making the week before somehow seem more bearable. I feel hopeless that I will never accomplish some of my big life goals.

But then I realize: these are only feelings, and they’re based in fear. Fear of more loss, which equates (at least to a degree) fear of failure. These fears are a poor representation of my reality. Whether these negative perceptions become my reality is up to me, because FEAR is really False Evidence Appearing Real. This is an acronym I’ve learned, and it’s true.

But knowing this doesn’t make the fear magically go away. I am afraid of loss, and I’m connecting all of the losses in my life to my current situation, fearing more loss.

I’m having trouble getting things done. Goals that, for the most part, should be easier to accomplish. What makes it worse is that these goals, once accomplished, will put me and my family in a better place.

My wife says I’m being hard on myself. She’s right. But you know what? It’s up to me to do these things. There’s nobody else who’s going to do it for me. My family is depending on me and I feel like I’m failing.

I’m struggling. Why is it so hard to admit that?

Beyond all of the emotion, all the exhaustion and the pain, I realize the biggest loss would occur if I gave up. I refuse to give up, and so should you. As long as we’re breathing we can change our lives, we can help others do the same.

So after this fairly depressing article I have something to ask of each and every one of you:

Please don’t give up.

And remember, you are not alone…

Teaching Our Kids How to Cope with Loss

I read a blog post a few days ago on a great dad site called Building Camelot. The name of the post is: My 5 Biggest Fears Being a Dad, and it covers the fear of loss in a very honest, real way.

The post came along at the perfect time, as loss has been on my mind lately — ever since I had my tooth pulled a few days ago.

My tooth’s clinical name was #13. And although the procedure was quick and physically painless, I have been thinking more and more about loss. Other than my hair (which I’ve been losing for years), this is the only part of my body that I have lost. And the experience has quickly transcended into a life metaphor.

What else have I lost? I’m not talking about a set of keys or a receipt from Target. I’m talking about real loss, the type that takes a piece of you along with it. The kind that leaves you with little gaps, like cavities, that never fully disappear or heal.

And yet we go on – battered, weathered and full of tiny little holes. Somehow, we find a way to function. What choice do we have? To give up?

Here’s what I’d like to know. Why weren’t we ever taught how to cope with loss? How to come to a place of acceptance, and have what we’ve learned from the loss propel us to a better place. In school, we learn about calculus and how to dissect a frog. Have you found that helpful? Unless you are a mathemetician, or a freak who likes to look at frog guts, it hasn’t.

Mom and dad? Yeah, they were a big help. The only serious talk I got was ”boys have a penis, and girls don’t. Did you know that?” As a matter of fact, I didn’t. But nothing came after that sentence except my uncomfortable thoughts about what girls did have down there if there was no penis.

Like it or not, loss is a part of life. We have the power to give our chilren the tools they need to cope with loss in a positive way. We can help them learn to heal (as best as possible), and come to a place of acceptance so they can move on from loss instead of dwelling in it.

We can also let them know that it’s OK if they need help to cope or heal. Just being approachable, and telling them “mom and dad are here,” is a huge deal. Then, of course, there’s the power of spirit (but that’s a topic for another blog post).

Can we protect our kids from loss? I don’t think so. And why should we? If we want them to be healthy, successful adults, it’s our repsonsibility to help them be fully functioning people.

My parents were incapeable of this. Were yours? I think they did their best, which is all I can ask. But we can do better.

And remember, you are not alone…