Reader note: This is not the usual voice of Buttercup. But the usual voice of Buttercup has receded for now and my thoughts and feelings are somewhere back in time. Specifically I am nine years, seven months and a few handfuls of days back in time. It is September 2001.
I've written about my experiences on September 11, 2001 several times. But over the years I have found that I need to keep these experiences very much in check. They reside in a compartment inside of me. As I get closer to September 11 each year they start to emerge and it is painful. As the day passes the feelings and memories go back into their compartment, for the most part put away until the following year.
Last summer I joined a group that gives tours of the Ground Zero area. I wanted to be able to share my experiences as the unique historical material that they are. The other members of the group are survivors, rescuers and those who had lost loved ones. The training was great, the other members were terrific. I assisted in several tours and found myself almost as depressed as I had been right after September 11. Regrettably I found I had to stop giving tours and reliving my experiences. I learned a good lesson. For many people this was cathartic, but it simply didn't work for me.
On Sunday night all the feelings and memories returned and have stayed. Monday morning's headline once again showed the Trade Towers burning. I've waited seven years, eight plus months for this moment, but there is no closure for me. The lives lost cannot be brought back. The way we live now -- airports, security, police in full military gear on the subway -- is permanent. On a personal note, the anxiety of living in New York City goes into full throttle. Is it safe to ride the subway? Is it the height of foolishness to remain here? It all comes back, again and again and again.
I keep hearing the word "closure," and many news people debating if there is now closure. I do not see closure, do not feel closure and cannot understand how this can be closed. I am deeply grateful to the Navy Seal team and in awe of their courage, but I am not in the street celebrating. I am still mourning all that happened on that beautiful September day nine years ago and expect that I always will.