Where are you in your 9/11 grief?


North face south tower after plane strike 9-11

I invite you to look at your 9/11 remembrance from a grief perspective. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross defined five stages of grief and here is how they apply to our communal response to the 2001 terror attacks:

  • Denial
    That moment you sat in front of the TV and couldn’t believe your own eyes. The following weeks and months when planes were grounded and everything felt surreal.
  • Anger
    The phase of externalization. Now the energy goes outward and focuses on “them”: Terrorists, countries that harbor terrorists, but also people who look and believe differently from me. This is how to start a war.
  • Depression
    Protracted war slows down and leads to frustration: How do you even begin to define victory in a seemingly endless war on terror? Does anything make a difference anymore?
  • Acceptance
    Fully embracing the factual reality what happened while being able to acknowledge your feelings that go along with it. You are in charge of your reaction: You no longer need to run away from the fear through denial. You no longer need to project it on innocent bystanders. You find a new meaning and a new purpose.


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