Remembering 9/11: Navigating emotions and healing together

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 4:49 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The memories of September 11, 2001, remain etched in our collective consciousness. For many, it’s a day they remember vividly, from where they were to the emotions they felt. The 9/11 attacks left an indelible mark on the world, and each year, as the anniversary approaches, it can stir up a multitude of emotions.

UAB psychologist, Dr. Josh Klapow, believes that it’s entirely normal to feel a wide range of emotions on this day. He emphasizes that it’s essential to acknowledge and process these feelings, even if they are difficult.

“Know that the intense emotions are normal. Number two, regulate how much information you are taking in. It’s ok to be sad, to remember, to be emotional, to cry, to be angry... but it’s also ok to take a step back if you need to,” Dr. Klapow said.

Dr. Klapow suggests that discussing your thoughts and emotions about 9/11 with your family can be a vital part of the healing process. However, he also emphasizes the importance of understanding how younger generations may respond, especially those who were not alive when the attacks happened or were too young to remember.

“It’s crucial to be sensitive to the reactions of younger family members who may not have the same emotional connection to 9/11. They might have questions or need guidance in understanding the significance of this day,” Dr. Klapow added.

While allowing yourself to feel and express your emotions is an essential step toward healing, Dr. Klapow advises that if your memories of 9/11 are causing nightmares or your emotions do not subside in the coming days, seeking professional counseling can be beneficial.

Grief and trauma can affect individuals differently, and it’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to commemorate 9/11. Whether it’s through solemn reflection, acts of kindness, or supporting charities that honor the victims, every effort to remember and heal contributes to the collective resilience and strength of our nation.

As another anniversary of that fateful day is marked, let us remember the lives lost, the bravery of first responders, and the unity that emerged in the face of adversity. Together, we can navigate the complex emotions surrounding 9/11 and continue to honor the memory of those we lost.

Get news alerts in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or subscribe to our email newsletter here.