After two weeks of biblical-type floods and storms, news came last night about the death of Osama bin Laden, the architect of al-Qaida who was behind the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history.
Nearly 10 years ago, the world changed for everyone, becoming a little darker and a little less reassuring. Sept. 11 struck closer to home for some, but all of us felt the tremor of tragedy radiating out from ground zero.
Today I talked to the father and sister of one of the 9/11 victims. Her name is Sara Low, a flight attendant from Batesville. I remember her well because of the photo — that short pixie cut, bright, inquisitive eyes, dazzling smile.
I recall thinking, ‘She’s ours.’ Ours as in Arkansas’. She was one of us, and I felt close to her because of age and location.
Interviewing her family today, I was struck by what they said.
That while they were pleased with the outcome of bin Laden’s death in a firefight with Navy Seals, the story wasn’t over. Not by a long shot.
It was just a coda to this chapter.
And that there is no such thing as closure.
“That mythical word,” as Mike Low told me.
Because they still wake up every day with that pang of her loss, even if it’s not as acute or fresh as it was nearly 10 years ago.
Sara’s room still sits as it was a decade ago. There are some aspects of loss and death that we are never truly able to confront, lest we become fractured shells of ourselves.
So we don’t dwell, but that absence is always there, occupying a corner of our thoughts or our houses.
I can’t even begin to understand loss on par with 9/11. I can barely wrap my head around my own small losses from MS. I feel selfish even writing that, but I can’t help but think that closure is elusive for all of us.