Health Fusion: How the stories of 9/11 inspire resilience | Grand Forks Herald

Last weekend was the 20th anniversary of that terrible day and, coincidentally, I was in New York City visiting friends. I lived there but moved to Minnesota before September 11th. We chose this weekend because it was better for everyone. Even though we hadn’t planned on attending the commemorative events taking place at Ground Zero – after all, we were getting together to have fun – the memories of that day followed us like little black clouds in the clouds. antidepressant advertisements. We were fine, but the possibility of sadness was still there.

The people I hung out with are real New Yorkers. And although I lived there for a while, I am not. On Saturday morning when we watched the memorial service, the stories started to flow. Everyone knew people who died, including me. But because I wasn’t in Manhattan when it happened, I felt like I had to be quiet.

What I heard from my friends in New York and what I heard on my flight home from Minnesota people who attended the memorial because they too lost loved ones, were stories of forgiveness and of resilience. These two qualities are, I believe, essential to body and soul. Health and happiness.

“I was on the George Washington Bridge,” says Lee, my former roommate in Brooklyn. “The traffic was completely stopped. I didn’t see the first plane touch down, but I remember when I heard it on the radio a few moments later, I felt like everyone on that bridge was watching. slowly to the right – towards the towers – in unison. “

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Lee’s husband was working downtown that day. She didn’t know where he was until hours later. When she picked him up from the train station, he walked out with a silent crowd of people covered in soot.

“My husband was on a business trip and died in the south tower collapse,” said the woman in the row behind me on the plane. “But your beloved is one of the real heroes and I thank you.”

Even though this woman lost her husband, she was forced to thank and comfort the passenger next to her who had been to New York City to remember a brother. He was one of the first responders who ran to hell to help, but didn’t make it.

How do people cope in times of loss and crisis? How are they ? I think it has to do with resilience.

“My personal definition of resilience is doing well when you shouldn’t be doing well,” says Dr Amit Sood, executive director of the Global Center for Resilience and Wellbeing. “Resilience is the fundamental strength you use to lift the burden of life. It is your ability to withstand adversity, bounce back from adversity, and grow despite life’s setbacks.”

Sood says there are three parts to becoming resilient: learning to resist adversity, how to recover from it, and how to rise from it. It may sound easy, but it takes work.

“Happiest people don’t have better things in their life than other people, they just focus more on what’s good in their life,” Sood explains.

He has two tips for becoming more resilient. One is to pay attention to what is important and take control of what is important. The second is to adjust your state of mind. Take note of how you view challenges and reframe the situation.

For me, this advice is priceless. And the woman behind me on the plane illustrated it. She didn’t let the loss of her husband derail her whole life with bitterness, anger and grief. Instead, she recognized the situation and then focused on the positives that emerged from the piles of ash and dust. Positive in the forms of human compassion and love.

I learned a lot on this meaningful trip.

Vivien Williams is a Video Content Producer for NewsMD and the host of “Health Fusion”. She can be contacted at

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