I’ve been consumed by this question all week,
Why do some survive and others don’t? Yes, the oldest existential question.
I mean how do those of us who survive a loss, should feel? When it’s this close. For me, it was the loss of my sister, Rima.
How do we escape survivor guilt? How do we deal with this random luck?
The hell with luck!
Last year, while I was having a cancer scare for about two weeks - before the negative results came back - I couldn’t find a reason to ask for a no-cancer result that wasn’t selfish. Well, I am not special, not in any way more than the many women who get diagnosed with cancer every year. In the end, the only special thing I found about me was that my ill mother still needed me. I said, just for her, she needs me strong.
We survive countless times a day, yet I believe survival will always be tied to a moment in time. Present tense.
"I survived” is equal to "I am alive" with all that comes from stating such a sentence from well and force.
I'd like to think that those of us who survive, can find solace in telling stories. Stories about those we lost and about how we are surviving them.
For the 14 souls we lost on September 13th, and the days after, when the building you called home fell and chattered your dreams and broke the hearts of your loved ones.
May your stories be told and the time you had with us be always cherished and remembered with a mix of both feeling privileged and content.
I made this short video from footage taken during a solidarity sit-in organized for the survivors, and for the families, friends, and neighbors of those we lost.