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  Home  > Personal Wellness  > Grief Reactions

Grief Reactions

Regina's Journal: September 11, 2001, Arizona

The news of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon reached me early this morning. My friend, Sally, met me at her door with tears in her eyes and told me that something terrible had happened. The shock took many forms. At first, denial, as I couldn't quite understand the words. She spoke clearly, of course, but it seemed like a foreign language. I didn't want to hear such stories. She must be mistaken.

A hot rush of fear hit my belly, my face grew warm, my arms and legs tingled. There was a feeling of breathlessness. All morning long I kept sighing deeply, gasping for air. The sensation in my body is hard to describe - something like cotton candy in the veins. I was simultaneously excited and numbed. The reality did not penetrate for several hours. Since I had no television, I didn't see what most of the world saw immediately, but my sadness and fear grew as the reports came in. I never really felt angry, but I tend to repress anger, so maybe I had it but didn't show it.

As the day progressed, I observed the responses of my friends. Some wept openly. Others, with sharp words, angry tones, described the horrors. Others, with trembling hands, tried to get through by cell phones to loved ones in New York. I tried to keep myself fiercely under control, my typical strategy for handling the unknown.

When I finally saw my husband, we were both shaken. As we spoke, I allowed the first few tears to flow, and then we both became silent. We held each other for a long time. What could we say?—Regina




<< Previous Stages of Grief | Back to Feeling | Next >> Positive or Negative Attention
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