F is for Friends We Grieve
Apr 06, 2011 by Victoria Noe
You would probably be surprised by the number of friends you’ve had in your life: friends from your neighborhood, your school, your church, your first job, your sports team, your theatre group. But life being what it is, you lose touch, maybe geographically separated, maybe just slipping away because your interests changed.Then you go to a reunion, or a party. You skim the alumni newsletter. And you discover they’ve died.Your first reaction may be shock, but your second reaction is likely to be a memory. It might be a memory that now seemed eerie. It might also be a silly or funny memory.My husband and I sat in Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, three days after 9/11, for an inter-faith...
Back to Ground Zero
Mar 28, 2011 by Victoria Noe
I’ve been to Ground Zero three times.The first time was in 2005, a few weeks after my father died. I didn’t like being there, probably because I was already mourning more than I believed possible. We went down and looked through the chain-link fence. Banners listing the names of the victims covered large sections of the fence. When you looked down, you saw a massive hole in the ground, a few trucks and not much else. The enormity of it was so much more dramatic than seeing it on TV. My classmate’s name was right there, in alphabetical order. I felt like it was a pilgrimage, of sorts.I went back in October, 2009, when I first started on my book....
Memorializing Your Friends – StoryCorps
Mar 23, 2011 by Victoria Noe
One of the disadvantages some people feel when a friend dies is the inability to pay tribute to their friend. You might give a gift in their memory to their favorite charity or cause.But we want the world to know how important and special this friend was to us; why the world is a little sadder without them.So there are blogs – not unlike this one – and Facebook tribute pages. But another wonderful way to honor your friends is through StoryCorps.StoryCorps is an organization dedicated “to providing Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.”I first learned about StoryCorps in conjunction with the September 11 Initiative, preserving stories...
9/11 and Cumulative Grief
Mar 11, 2011 by Victoria Noe
In six months, we will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.For some people – probably most – 9/11 is something that happened years ago. The History Channel runs specials periodically, and many books have been written concerning that day. In truth, a lot of people are tired of hearing about it.Most people weren’t directly affected by the loss of life. Some people – like me – knew someone who died that day. But for a select group, the losses they suffered are almost unimaginable.“Therapists treated traders who lost dozens of close friends in the towers, police officers who lost everyone in their unit, firefighters who ‘knew 100 people who were dead,’...
Like a Brother (or Sister) to Me
Feb 16, 2011 by Victoria Noe
When a tragedy occurs – natural disasters, 9/11 – my reaction is to soak up the media coverage. I need to understand what happened – the how and the why. Not everybody feels that way; some people prefer to stay as detached as possible. Some things have become cliché when people are interviewed about those who have died. One we often hear in describing a friend who has died is ‘he was like a brother to me’. Certain groups – like firefighters or police officers – refer to those with whom they work as ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’. They work together, have each other’s backs, sometimes live together. They’re more than ‘just’ friends. I’m not sure when it was – probably...