“Time Heals All Wounds.” Really?

I know what today is. I don’t need to hear it from the media or the newspaper headlines. I don’t have to be reminded by a friend or the cashier at the local grocery story. Because you see I have an unfortunate connection to the anniversary of 9/11. It is tied to my wedding anniversary. No, I didn’t get married in September but rather six months before the event. Still the anniversaries will forever be linked, whether I like it or not.

I remember that day incredibly well. I was a newlywed, still on cloud nine with the new life I was living. I loved our first home and the excitement of sharing it all with my husband. I savoured every minute of it being just the two of us out there in the world together. It was a truly magical time.

And then… the calendar hit September 11. I was covering a film at the Toronto International Film Festival. Just as the lights in the theatre went out, I heard someone behind me say, “Did you hear about the planes?” When the film was over the Q & A with the director had been cancelled “…due to the events of the morning.” Huh? What events? I didn’t understand what was going on. Did something happen at the festival?

As soon as I called my husband, he told me everything. I think I lost my footing in that moment. I don’t need to go into any more detail. We all know what followed.

But today, in this 12th year of “remembering” it got me thinking about keeping thoughts alive. If we have constant reminders in the form of museums and sacred memorials, then how can Time really Heal anything? Should it?

I have had my share of loss in close family members, friends and relatives. I can honestly say Time does not exactly “Heal” as its meant to. It merely dulls the pain. It pushes us along when the thoughts of a lost loved one can cripple every molecule in our being, immobilizing us from ever moving beyond space or time. I’m grateful to Time for allowing me to move at my own pace and still hold my losses close.

I was not intimately connected to any one person during that horrific event. I’m not American. But I don’t have to be in order to share in that overwhelming sadness and grief. I carry it with me each and every anniversary with all those affected. I mourn with them every single time the TV flashes images of their loved ones’ smiling faces or declares which floor or tower they were in. I ache at the sight of the planes and the fire ball of devastation as the towers came crumbling down in every “memorial” newsclip, documentary, soundbite, photo.

I hate that the calendar date has become forever known as the HEADING: “9/11”. I’m sorry for everyone who marks a birthday or actual anniversary on that day for I feel they are if not profoundly then slightly gyped of the joy properly owed to them because of the “9/11” tag that is intertwined with their celebration.

I don’t think it should be TIME’s responsibility to HEAL us. I think we should be grateful that TIME continues to flow and carry us all along with it. Until the next anniversary, may memories be your comfort.