On September 11, 2006, I was hiking in the Adirondack Mountains with my usual companions, a motley group of self-employed people and priests with the day off. On the way up and at the summit of a mountain, we talked quietly about the anniversary. We always shared a small buffet lunch at the summit, whatever anyone had in their fridge, and my friend who owned a liquor store always supplied the wine. We were quietly talking among ourselves with long pauses in between, when a woman suddenly started shrieking and screaming at us violently, running at us screaming “You don’t know anything. You weren’t there. You don’t know ANYTHING.” She ran off followed by her people, except for one person who stayed behind to apologize to us. You don’t have to apologize, we said in unison. Don’t.
I learned (again) that day that grief takes many forms. Any feeling person knows that.