Handling the Annual 9/11 Heartache

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Handling the Annual 9/11 Heartache
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 12:45pm

The anniversary of a catastrophic loss such as 9/11 can bring up feelings of grief not only about that event itself but of other more personal losses that you may have experienced. The sorrow that comes with the death of someone important to you tends to heal with time, but each anniversary often brings up a resurgence of the sadness and distress of their absence. In fact, all kinds of anniversaries can be painful. In the first year after losing someone, holidays and special occasions without your loved one can be tough. But even as the years go on, the anniversary of a first date of a deceased spouse, or the first day of the school year after losing a child, can remain painful for years. Watching others grieve and feel loss -- as with the anniversary of 9/11 -- can also remind you of personal losses and make you feel fresh grief of your own.

It’s not unusual for an emotional reaction to be triggered a week or two before the anniversary of a loved one’s death -- or another event that reminds you of him or her -- and it can last for several weeks afterwards. You may feel anxiety, have difficulty sleeping, have nightmares, lose your appetite or concentration, feel sadness and have vivid thoughts of the person and possibly of the way he or she died. You may have a strong desire to share your memories and thoughts about your loved one. This kind of mourning is expected and it is very normal. While your sadness will likely lessen over the years, it may not completely go away.