In the seven months I have been writing about health happenings in Milford, I’ve met incredible people, learned a ton and have enjoyed sharing the information with Patch readers. This week has been entirely different. I have a few projects I am working on but with today being the 10-year anniversary of Sept. 11, I didn’t think reporting on the Slushy machine, sleep patterns or would be of much interest.
The , the media coverage, and the many Sept. 11 events have resurfaced emotions many of us had pushed aside. I had a friend tell me she had been “crying all week” and another tell me “It’s like it is happening all over again." Our country was Ten years later we are still grieving the thousands of lives and the security that was ripped from us and our children that day. This week I have been exhausted, teary, and my kids might tell you VERY cranky. I thought it was the chaos of and restarting, but it dawned on me as I watched a Sept. 11, special and tears rolled down my face that the stress I was feeling was grief.
Grief is defined as “deep mental anguish, as that arising from bereavement,” according to a dictionary definition. Most people think of grief as the emotion felt after losing a loved one, however grief is the emotion also felt when we lose jobs, have relationship breakups, when we move, or when our innocence has been taken (such as the time you realized that maybe it was your parents, not the Tooth Fairy or Santa.) It was grief from the still baffling and horrific event that robbed me from enjoying watching my daughter ride away on the kindergarten bus 10 years ago. It is grief that I am feeling as I answer the many questions my scared 10-year-old is asking about that day as her innocence fades hearing it all around her this week.
The last have been very emotional for Milford. First the heartbreaking passing of , then the tragic death of and the aftermath of the then a hurricane. Now we are reliving the most gruesome event of our lives.
When my emotions are raw I clean. This week I chose to tackle my 15-year-old daughter’s room. As I plowed through piles of clothes, trash, shoes and books I came across a paper she had written five years ago about the events of Sept. 11. (Yes, I said five years ago, this was not an easy task.) I don’t remember answering these questions or the assignment. But she does. We let her watch some of the footage this year and the look on her face as she watched people jumping out of buildings was enough to make a mother cry. Yup, still grieving 10 years later.
Most of us know there are waves of grief including sorrow, numbness, guilt and anger. These feelings will typically fade with time as the loss is accepted and we move forward. It dawned on me that it is the “accepted” part we are not able to achieve as we relive the events of Sept. 11.
The overwhelming media coverage is not helping our health. Grief and fear can cause dizzy spells, anxiety, tension, headaches and sleeplessness. They affect your immune, digestive, cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) systems. Amy Leone, a counselor with , suggested proven methods to keep healthy during times of grief and stress:
- Talk to friends and make use of community support.
- Talk to your children about the events and encourage them to discuss their fears.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Move for 20 to 30 minutes each day.
- Stick to a routine.
- Consider spiritual guidance.
- Seek a counselor if you are experiencing the symptoms above, or have prolonged grief.
In the words of my 10-year-old: “I hope everyone knows that we can still have peace and still be healthy in America even though there are really mean people in the world, because most people are very nice in Milford.”