Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11

This is such a difficult time to contemplate.  Each year, everyone wants to revisit the horrific hours leading to the collapse of the twin towers and the attacks on the pentagon; the impact of which is made all the more palpable by social networking sites dredging up old memories and graphic photos.  We start the day with a moment of silence and some people have even called for a national day of mourning.  But September eleventh is also someone's birthday.  It is someone's anniversary or the day they met their significant others or the day someone bought a house or a car or started a new job.  Completely independent of the attacks, it is a day that meant something to someone.  And now it is a day we are not meant to be happy. 

No one who ever lived, no one who ever survived a near death experience said to his or her family, "Because I lived, I want you to honor my memory every day.  Because I lived, your life is over, you are shattered, a shadow of your former self.  Because I lived, to prove your love for me, your life shall be forever ruined."  So why would we think that someone who died would have such a wish for us?  You honor your loved ones not by pausing your life but by embracing it.  You celebrate your loved one by living your life to the fullest, the most joyful, the richest.  You fill the void they left with new memories, not with a constant longing for what has been lost.  You be the hero of your own life, and yes, it is hard, it is a struggle but it is the greatest way to repay the sacrifices that were made.

Never let your life become complacent or less that you deserve to honor someone else.  Do not squander this life out of some misguided sense of indebtedness.  If someone really loved you, they would wish nothing less than everything for you.

Live your life for you but live it with the fullness of living it for others.  In this you celebrate their life, their legacy.  There is no reason to memorialize a ghost.

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