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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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • http://www.americanmamacita.com Kim

    And in 20-30 years, when they have their own children, it’ll mean something yet again – grandparents their kids will never know, a new understanding of how their parents probably felt toward them (in light of now being parents themselves)…


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