And We Move On

 

Everybody’s got problems. In every life, there’s a little tragedy, a little bump (or a huge hill) in the middle of the road. We can stay there and be left behind, stuck in the past as everyone goes by at their own pace, or we can move on with them. It’s never easy. It’s never going to be. But that’s life.

When I was twelve, my fourth sibling died. By which I mean my mother was pregnant, and due to a large amount of complications she was forced to abort. It traumatised her, it traumatised us. We held prayers in our garden, and I still can’t forget the tombstone from the graveyard that my sibling is buried in. For weeks, we didn’t know what to say about it, or to my mother, and a melancholy attitude settled on our house for a long time.  And yet, my strongest memory of the day I learnt my sibling was dead was going to school that day, and just sitting in the classroom and getting on. Moving on. The pain was still there, for all of us. When my mother was pregnant again, and she had to have special treatment for blood pressure problems, our hearts were in our mouths for nine months. And they’ve been since. We worried, we worry, we always will. But we moved on.

When I was seven, a close family friend died. He was hit by a car, and pronounced brain dead the next day. His mother had to switch off the life support. They’ve struggled to move on: his mother became alcoholic and her husband separated from her and took their young son away, his sister went “wild”. Maybe they’re still stuck in their past. Maybe one day they’ll move on.

Today is 9/11. Except that it isn’t, because that event happened eleven years ago. And maybe the world stopped for America then, but you can only pause for so long before you have to move on again. We had 7/7. We had Iraq, and the way things are going we’re probably going to have Iran. These are the defining events of our generation, but they will eventually fade away like the events before them, like World War Two is doing,  as the first all but has, as all the civil wars and massacres have. It will never be easy. It will never be as easy as I make out, sitting behind my computer screen and personally unaffected and unconnected to these tragedies unlike so many others. But every generation has its wars and its victims, and we drag our feet along for a while after them but, eventually, we have to lift them properly and just keep on, keep on. Move on.

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11 thoughts on “And We Move On

    1. dlaiden Post author

      Thank you. Over here in England, 9/11 often goes unremembered. That’s natural, but this year I wanted to take the time to say something, both for all its victims and also the victims of other tragedies.

      Reply
  1. Les Petits Pas de Juls

    You’re right. And moving on doesn’t mean we forget, but we learn to live with the loss. Sometimes they even forge the person we’re meant to be some time in the future; I know they have forged me. The important thing IS to MOVE ON, learn, and finally be at peace with it all. And remember them, those whom we loved always and lost once. And remember tragedies so hopefully some day, Humankind will learn from them too and prevent them one way or another.
    Well written again D.L.
    Thanks for the lesson.
    Jul’

    Reply
  2. Sarah

    Thank you for this. Here (West Coast US) it feels like many would rather treat 9/11 as a moment for political one-upmanship or an opportunity to put a flag on the front porch instead of a moment to truly reflect. We have to move on, but we have to remember WHAT happened and WHY, or the lessons of our “minute of silence” will be lost on future generations.

    Reply
  3. pinappleflavouredpeople

    It seems like you write with all your heart, if I may say so.
    And you’re right about moving on. It’s a weird sensation that many try to bring themselves into it when a tragedy like 9/11 happens. We talked about it in school and half the class could recall exactly where they were when it happened and how they are connected to it. I think that’s emphathy gone too far.
    Anyway, great post.

    Reply
    1. dlaiden Post author

      Thank you. 🙂 I started this blog to express myself completely, and that’s what I try my best to do.
      Yes, I know what you mean about the almost over-enthusiastic empathy. It’s like the “We’ll never forget” phrase. I fully understand and respect the intention behind it. But we will forget. Not completely, not everyone, but little details will slip through the cracks and memory will eventually serve the event up on a platter of nostalgia. One day we’ll be those old people telling our grandkids about 9/11, but it won’t matter to them. It won’t affect them in the same way. They’ll forget, even if we don’t. Unfortunately, the tragedy is but another in the long history of humankind and its wars.

      Reply
  4. NotResponsibleAmy

    Errr. No. Not while the people who did this and the evil which spawned them still exists. That has to be exterminated. Eradicated. We need to tear up the floorboards and get to the vermin. No matter where it is. You can’t move on until you have made sure it can’t happen again.

    Reply
    1. dlaiden Post author

      It will never be “exterminated”. Even if all the world’s nations went after Al-Qaeda, radicalism would still be possible. Wherever there exists an ideology, there exists a liberal and an extremist view to go along side it. That’s true in every aspect of life, whether religious, political, social, whatever. There’s always the possibility of it happening again. It’s not eradication that’s necessary, as it isn’t possible, it’s finding a way to deal with it properly. By which I mean gradually bringing such cultures forward, and not demanding that they change immediately everything and drop their religion because it doesn’t “fit”. There is moderate Islam, you can see it in the UK, the US, and even Middle-Eastern countries if you look past the media headlines. And we can bring the radicals past blind hate by first moving on from it ourselves.

      Reply
  5. Sarah

    I’m American, and I think most people here agree 9/11 should be remembered, but some people seem to think honoring the victims means they have to hate. I know some people might totally disagree with me, and I’m not even sure I’m right, but maybe the people who cause 9/11 were victims in a way as well. If I were them, if I was brought up since birth to hate, how would I know any different? I don’t know, maybe really I’m insensitive for saying that.

    Reply
    1. dlaiden Post author

      Thanks for the comment. I understand where you’re coming from. The blind hatred is simply mimicking the attitude of the terrorists themselves; it’s exchanging an eye for an eye and continuing the same vicious cycle. Nobody wants to know that most suicide bombers have been raised from birth to see what they do as right, that they have been constantly told that they are freedom fighters instead of terrorists. A “bombs-and-bullets” war against this is understandable, but if America or Britain truly want to change things then they need to get to the root of the problem and change these teachings. Violence and hate can never do that.

      Reply
      1. Sarah

        Thank you! That’s exactly what I was trying to say!
        I think that a better education system would help change a lot of people’s attitudes. Desperate people do desperate things, and sometimes you can’t blame them. If some one is so poor they have to steal food so their kids don’t starve, is it wrong of them or wrong of society for not giving them the opportunitys they needed? If we had giving those people opportunitys, 9/11 might not have happened.
        This is a little crude, but there’s this quote, “Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity”. Blindly hating those who hate you makes you no better then they are. Blind hate shouldn’t be encouraged as ‘patriotic’.

        Reply

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