Regrieving

The Boston Globe has a heartbreaking article on the processes by which the young children of 9/11 victims take years just to grasp what happened to their parents and how at each stage of understanding they experience a new kind of pain:

For many of these young people, this ninth anniversary of the attacks brings painful memories of terrifyingly chaotic and unfathomable moments in their households. But like other anniversaries, it also brings new understandings. With another year passed, they have more highly developed thinking, allowing them to process the tragedy in more sophisticated ways.

“Kids who were 4 at the time understood it only as a 4-year-old could understand it,’’ said Deborah Rivlin, a children’s grief specialist who worked with Massachusetts families of Sept. 11 victims. “As they get older, they have new questions.’’

The new questions bring greater understanding, but often new sorrows as well.

“Children regrieve at each developmental age,’’ Rivlin said.

Those who were four years old on September 11, 2001 are still only 13 years old today, it is so tragic how many more years that day has the power to freshly bewilder and torment them.

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