Corona. A few short weeks ago, if you asked me what that word symbolized for me, I would have responded, “Beer!” How quickly things change. It seems that our lives have once again been abruptly disjointed. This is not something new for this community, but that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. In fact, for many of us personally affected by the events of 9/11, this time can be triggering.
The entire world is watching a catastrophe unfold just as it did nearly 19 years ago. Feelings of fear, vulnerability and lack of control seem to have taken over the collective consciousness. Misinformation and constantly evolving situations in the media bring more confusion than direction. Being isolated, especially if you are a single parent, can be both physically and mentally exhausting. If you or your significant other work in a field that has been designated as “essential” services, that anxiety can increase. The idea of once again losing someone we love is probably the scariest scenario for each of us.
I am here to share some hope. Besides the crippling feelings we experienced around 9/11, we also felt some rather inspiring feelings. Every experience we have had can be resourced for this time. The most notable would be the way the community came together and supported us. I recall wondering how I could simultaneously feel so much grief and so much gratitude. Our needs were met – we had food, we had shelter, we had donations to help with financial hardship. It is important to remind ourselves of this. It takes a village. We didn’t get this far alone.
“It is equally important to remember the sense of hopelessness we may have felt [after 9/11], because now we can look back with awe at how we have not only survived, but thrived.”
– Denise Olsen
It is equally important to remember the sense of hopelessness we may have felt at the time, because now we can look back with awe at how we have not only survived, but thrived. The least we can do is call on these experiences to calm our own anxieties and fears that will naturally arise during this period of uncertainty. On a larger scale, when we are able, we can share our experiences with others whose lives will be forever changed in the wake of this virus. We have so much to offer. That is what Tuesday’s Children is all about. We are the light for those who are navigating the darkest and most frightening times of their lives. This attack is caused by something different, but is just as frightening to those who are experiencing it first-hand.
So let’s give a voice to our fears, but let’s also speak of our resilience. Let’s share our truth – life can change in an instant, but there is always hope and a path to a new normal. Let’s remember and remind others that this will pass – we won’t be locked in our homes forever, the collective fear and grief will dissipate. We may not be the same coming out of this storm, as we were going in, so let’s strive to be better on the other side. Let’s pay it forward and be the support that our community so desperately needs right now. If we have learned anything from our pain, it is that we can do hard things. Let’s do them.
About The Author
Denise Olsen is a creator of life, healing and hope. She has a degree in nursing, is a certified Master Healer and yoga instructor, reiki practitioner, meditator, amateur writer, gratitude freak, hope junkie and lover of all things nature. She is the mother to three grown children and dog mom to two pups. After the loss on 9/11 of her husband, Firefighter Jeff Olsen, she created Strong and Soulful, which allowed her to use all the tools she had gathered along her journey to assist others in healing the unseen wounds and empowering them to create a life they love living. Denise rang the NASDAQ Opening Bell with Tuesday’s Children on the 17th anniversary of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.