15 Years Later: Love Remains (A Personal Reflection on 9/11)

Fifteen years ago today, I had recently moved 1000 miles from Boston, MA to Athens, GA to be with the man I loved.

He was in his senior year of college and working on a paper due that day. I was drinking my coffee and watching The Wayans Brothers before another day of job hunting.

Breaking News cut into the show with a story about a plane hitting one of the World Trade Center towers in NYC. Then there were reports of another plane crashing into the Pentagon.

I remember feeling confused and wondering if this was important enough to interrupt my boyfriend’s writing.

I watched in shock, staring at the television, certain that what I was seeing was somehow not happening. I was already shaking when I watched live as the second tower was hit.

When I finally called my boyfriend in to watch what was unfolding, I watched him go through the same stages of shock and fear. He also started shaking. We watched live as the towers fell.

The thing I remember most about that day is the thought of how incredibly glad I was to be there with him because there was no one else I would have rather had by my side in that moment.

To calm our nerves, we pulled out a bottle of bourbon and started doing shots. We simply had no idea how to respond to something like this. We were shocked and terrified, wondering what was coming next, and coping with our anxiety the best way we knew how.

I tried to call a few people but couldn’t get through to anyone. I kept trying and eventually reached my mother. I felt a need to call and tell her I was safe, even though she knew I was far from any of the action. I remember thinking it was a strange impulse until I realized how glad she was that I had called.

I was too scared to go to choir practice that evening. Our country was under attack, and the only things that mattered were knowing my family was safe and being with the man I loved.

Five years later, my boyfriend and I got married. Eight years later, my husband took his own life.

In the two years since, I have been struggling to make sense of my life and trying to figure out how to live on my own, when I never thought I would have to do so again.

Today is one of the harder days.

I know there are many, many people who were affected by the 9/11 attacks on a much deeper level than I. Many people lost family and friends that day. I didn’t. In some ways, it feels like it shouldn’t matter as much to me.

But the day, for me, is still about loss.

All I want to do today is talk with my late husband, ask him what he remembers, and tell him how glad I was to be with him that day. I want to tell him how safe he made me feel in such a scary moment. I want to reflect on the horror and consider how the world has changed as a result.

Instead, I sit here alone, respecting and valuing the lives lost that day, and wishing I could have just one more moment with my husband.

Because the fact of the matter is—loss is loss.

Sometimes it comes in dramatic fashion, in huge numbers and ways that affect the entire world. Sometimes it comes quietly and touches only a few people.

It doesn’t matter how it comes—the pain is no less painful.

Today, let us remember all those we have lost. Let us be thankful for those we still have in our lives. And let us never forget that even after loss—especially after loss—love is what remains.

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Posted in Blog, Despair, Grief, Grieving, Love

Moment of Bunniness: Fritzi

This is Fritzi, a wise bun who knows every moment of patience is worth it when she finally gets to see her human, Carly S.

Thanks, Carly and Fritzi, for the reminder that patience may be difficult but that it can also help us become stronger, wiser, and happier bunnies.

Fritzi the bunny, Photo courtesy of Carly S.

Fritzi the bunny, Photo courtesy of Carly S.

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Posted in Artwork, Book, Bunniness

Moment of Bunniness: Benjamin

With many thanks to Rebecca L. for the adorable pic, here is Benjamin the bunny enjoying a moment among the apples.

Benjamin shares a lesson that may be difficult for many of us, particularly those of us living in a society based on Capitalism, which on some level seems to equate “having” and “owning” with being successful and happy. Is Benjamin a successful bunny because he is surrounded by many apples? Do the apples make him better than other bunnies or fundamentally happier or more peaceful?

Sure, Benjamin is fortunate to live in a loving forever home with safely supervised access to apples. But he does not own the apples, nor does he plan to carry them with him wherever he hops. Instead, he simply sits among the apples, appreciating them in the moment and leaving them for the enjoyment of whomever may stumble across them next.

May we learn from Benjamin’s example by appreciating our own good fortune–whatever it may be–and remembering that “having” does not necessarily equate to being happy. It can, however, give us an opportunity to create a legacy of generosity and kindness as we contribute to the world around us.

Benjamin the bunny, Photo courtesy of Rebecca L.

Benjamin the bunny, Photo courtesy of Rebecca L. Click the pic to follow Rebecca on Twitter!

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Posted in Blog, Bunniness

Moment of Bunniness: Gilbert

Today’s moment of bunniness features Gilbert the bunny, with many thanks to @hope_stokes for the awesome pic.

For me, this pic of Gilbert is a perfect reminder that we do not need to overthink each and every moment of our lives. Often, it is enough to relax and appreciate what is. It may help to have a loving hand to support and encourage us, but ultimately we are responsible for our own lives and how we choose to respond to them.

Sometimes we wonder whether this is the right moment or whether we should respond in a particular way. This helps us react responsibly and with conscious intentions. But lengthy thought-spirals that cycle through every possible outcome and every thing that could possibly go wrong will only stand between us and a true experience of our day.

Today, it is time to let go of the thought-spirals. It is time to take Gilbert’s advice and be present without analyzing each moment of the day. Otherwise, we might miss the opportunity to experience the sweetness and joy that is right here in front of us.

Gilbert the bunny, Photo courtesy of @hope_stokes

Gilbert the bunny, Photo courtesy of @hope_stokes

Need more bunniness? Try these:

  • Bunny Buddhism: Hopping Along the Path to Enlightenment
  • Moment of Bunniness: Brownie
  • Moment of Bunniness: Keiko
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    Posted in Blog, Bunniness

    Moment of Bunniness: Nilla

    Thank you to Aaliya M. and her lovely bun, Nilla, for today’s moment of bunniness.

    We spend so much of our lives looking for more or better than what we have, without stopping to see what is right in front of us. Nilla is here to show us we could have all we need if we would only take the time to notice.

    It’s a little hard to know if Nilla is really enjoying the beauty or about to have a snack…but, either way–this is one happy bunny, living in the moment.

    May we all take a moment today to stop and appreciate what is already present in our lives. Beauty and bunniness is everywhere!

    Nilla the bunny, Photo courtesy of Aaliyah M.

    Nilla the bunny, Photo courtesy of Aaliyah M.

    Need more bunniness? Try these:

  • Moment of Bunniness: Arthur
  • Moment of Bunniness: ‘cc’
  • Moment of Bunniness: Kaku
  • And don’t forget to check out the Bunny Buddhism book!

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    Posted in Blog, Bunniness

    Moment of Bunniness: Arthur

    Have you seen the Bunny Buddhism book yet?

    Today’s moment of bunniness is brought to us by Arthur the bunny and his loving human, Danica L. Thank you, Danica and Arthur!

    As he peers into the future, Arthur faces a sea of uncertainty. Fortunately, he is wise and knows the path will become clearer as he begins to hop. He also knows his hops will become more confident as he goes.

    For us, this means today’s conscious choices and positive actions will lead to our best possible tomorrows.

    Of course, it’s not always easy. Right now, it is challenging for me to stay present and make positive choices because I am still grieving. But I do the best I can, and that is always enough.

    Is anything stopping you from hopping forth and making your future the best it can be?

    Arthur the bunny, Photo courtesy of Danica L.

    Arthur the bunny, Photo courtesy of Danica L.

    Need more bunniness? Try these:

  • Moment of Bunniness: Brownie
  • Moment of Bunniness: Keiko
  • Story of Bunniness: Hazel and Fiver
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    Posted in Blog, Bunniness

    Moment of Bunniness: ‘cc’

    Today we have a little bundle of bunny joy named ‘cc’ with a reminder that we can’t always live in the past.

    Living in the past can be tempting at times, particularly for those of us doing our best to handle a devastating loss. Certainly, respect and appreciation for the past are important, but we must also remember that focusing too much on the past prevents us from living the life we have yet to live.

    May we learn to befriend the past, while maintaining an awareness of the present, so we will be ready to welcome new moments of bunniness when they come into our lives.

    cc the Bunny, Photo courtesy of Cindy F. Click the pic to visit Love Buns on Facebook!

    ‘cc’ the Bunny, Photo courtesy of Cindy F. Click the pic to visit ‘cc’s Love Buns page on Facebook!

    Need more bunniness? Try these:

  • Moment of Bunniness: Wucki
  • Moment of Bunniness: Marshall
  • Moment of Bunniness: Wild Bun 2
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    Posted in Blog, Bunniness
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