On September 10, 2001 my husband's brother landed in New Jersey. Waking up the next day, ready to start his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he witnessed the events of that fateful morning at the twin towers. Another friend had a son in a building not far away from the twin towers that watched these awful events from his office window. I remember my moment of discovering what was happening. Every one of us does. The loss was tremendous.
Although we did not lose anyone that day, that year started a decade of loss for my husband and me, as we lost 15 people. All of them were unexpected deaths. We have lost a dad, a brother, a sister-in-law, an aunt, 4 uncles, and other friends and family. With each loss, we have grown in our compassion for those who lost their loved ones on September 11. I have heard death described as "crushing" and "soul-searing." We felt these pains saying good-bye to our loved ones. Each day passes, and we hope that someday we will have a day that will feel normal again. Those of us that are left behind feel the shaping and trimming of a bonsai tree. Going in directions we never intended to go.
Thankfully, we know that Jesus Christ is our great Healer. Elder Merrill G. Bateman said, "We are dependent on the miracles of Christ’s atonement if our souls are to be made whole from grief, sorrow... If grieving parents and loved ones have faith in the Savior and His plan, death’s sting is softened as Jesus bears the believers’ grief and comforts them through the Holy Spirit." We have experienced this comfort also and we are so grateful for it. As the bonsai tree is shaped, our lives are shaped by what we experience. For me, I have been to so many funerals that I cannot sing, "God Be with You Till We Meet Again" without crying. To me I have had to sing this hymn at all the good-byes in life. It has come to represent that things in this life don't always work out, but thankfully through Jesus Christ and his eternal plan, there will be a day when everything is made right. I know it is true.