13 Sep September 11 – remembering the nation’s tragedy
As a designer of crematory urns, I have added reason to think about the grief we experience when we lose a loved one. I hope that giving my clients the ability to participate in creating a customized urn helps them emotionally. Families who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001 didn’t need a casket or urn, adding to the tragedy. Having no concrete remembrance makes the experience yet more difficult to cope with.
Each September 11th since 2011, I recall walking out of our building and someone saying, “A plane flew into the World Trade Center.” Instead of continuing on to the gym, my husband and I raced back up and were stunned to see the front of a plane jutting through the glass, facing us. “It’s terrorism,” he said before it was confirmed on the news. Unable to deal with this alone, some people in our building turned up. We watched the horror, crying and hugging with disbelief as the buildings collapsed. There was no way to be comforted or to process a tragedy of this magnitude.
The entire country was in mourning. New York was getting messages of sympathy from all the other states. There were services held around the city, providing places to gather, give and gain support. Each year the names of the victims are read. Flowers are left at local firehouses. Most of us don’t need to hear, “Never forget.” We remember 9/11, just as we remember the holocaust and our personal losses.
Remembering is not an obligation; it’s a privilege to honor those who are gone. My hope is that my customized urns help those in need of healing. I’m always honored to be trusted with commemorating someone’s life on an artistic urn.