Readers' Notes on Coping With Life After Sept. 11
Tuesday, September 25, 2001; Page HE02
How are you dealing with life in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington? We posted the question last week on www.washingtonpost.com. Soon we had received more than 150 e-mails from people throughout the area and around the world describing their personal strategies and responses.
Even as we all move past the first wave of emotion, people will continue to face the challenges and problems of daily living in a post-Sept. 11 world. We want you to keep telling us how you're adjusting, in ways large and small, physical and emotional, mundane and profound. For details on how and what to submit, see the "Life Lines" box on Page F1.
Here are excerpts from some of the early replies:
I find my solace in a pair of running shoes and in the simple realization of being an American. After [college] classes have ended and the last page has been turned for the night, I run through the streets of our city. My mind clears, my pain lifts, and for a moment I accept that my life has changed. – David D. Glynn, Charlottesville
I cope by gently reminding myself that not one of us has a guaranteed contract on life. Human history is the story of pain and suffering; I have been in the minuscule minority that has almost entirely avoided it for 41 years now. . . . Every moment of peace – time with my three beautiful children, my morning meditation, a walk in Rock Creek Park – is more of a joy than before. . . . The only thing that continues to make me deeply sad is knowing that my children won't live in the peaceful world I've enjoyed. – T.A. Thompson, Silver Spring
I don't ordinarily think of the church much, but I found myself in a church one night last week asking questions, and not of myself. – Phil Elliott, Washington
I'm finding solace and comfort in my family and my God. . . . I'm a mother of five children between 3 and 13 years old, so I'm very concerned how the world will be when they grow up. – Karen Jo Webster, Woodbridge
Coping? I guess I'm coping. I don't sleep well. I cry. I pray. . . . No, I plead. I read foreign newspapers instead of my horoscope in the morning. – Lisa Santiago-Tyler, Austin
I rediscovered the joy of watching my children play, the comfort of having my husband home at night, and the simple but awesome pleasure of a sunset. . . . I have fallen in love with my country in a way that I never have before because I took so much for granted. . . . I am allowing myself to grieve but heal, to feel fear but discover courage, to question but then to have faith. I have found strength in my Lord, my family and my country. I feel like a stronger citizen, and more fit mother, and a better person. – Susan Lloyd, Charleston, S.C.
I finally felt at peace when my [American University] fraternity decided to have a fundraiser for the Red Cross. We made hundreds of memorial ribbons and set up in front of the main activity center at AU with a fireman's boots to take in donations. After four hours, the ribbons were all gone but the money kept coming in. – Greg Goodman, New York
© 2001 The Washington Post Company