Sunday, September 11, 2011

Commemorate Life instead of the Tragedy of 9/11

I'm not watching TV today. I know every channel will be having it's tribute to 9/11. The 10th anniversary of a tragedy isn't worthy of commemoration to me - instead, we should commemorate life, not the day those lives died.

I haven't totally decided what I believe about death or the afterlife. Most Wiccans believe in reincarnation - that the soul is eternal and comes back many times to keep learning and growing. Some believe their souls merge with the Divine upon death, some believe in "heaven" (known as the Summerland in Wicca). I didn't know anyone that died on 9/11/01, but I have lost loved ones - my mother, beloved mother and father-in-law, grandparents and friends. I used to light a candle on the day they died. I don't anymore. Instead, I light a candle on their birthdays and celebrate the life and love they brought into this world and the light they had, and perhaps still do.

Yes, 9/11 was a tragedy of epic proportions - but every time I flip past yet another program showing the Twin Towers burning and falling I wonder how the families of those that did lose loved ones must feel. Having to watch that again and again and again is truly tragic to me. How hard it would be to move on and let go of your grief when it's cause is shown so often you cannot escape it.

Grief is a process and, as painful as it is, at some point you do move on. You have to for your own sanity. And yet the families and friends of those that died are constantly reminded of it. A wound re-opened every anniversary year.

So instead of focusing on the day they all died, I'd rather think of the day they were born - of the joy and love they created while they were on our mortal plain. And let go of the death and destruction of 9/11.

Mother Theresa once was asked to participate in a march against war. She declined saying that she would gladly march for peace.  Instead of focusing on the tragedy, I prefer to act as Mother Theresa - to look forward, not back. To focus on the way the world came together after 9/11. Not since World War II were so many countries united it one cause or help each other so much. And to focus on the lives the people who died had before - and perhaps will have again if they are reborn.

It's their lives I celebrate today.