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David pulled me close to him. "I love you, too," he whispered, then kissed the top of my head as I rested my cheek against his chest, the sound of his heartbeat drumming in my ear. Warm and safe within the arms of my love, I thought of the upside to my fear of loss -- it forces me to appreciate what I have. Rarely does a moment pass that I don't savor the love and happiness in my life, the people I get to spend time with, and hundreds of other simple little things that delight me, like the bird that hovered for a moment outside of my office window today, or catching the phone when my father calls from abroad.

Every moment in life is an opportunity if you look at things in the right light. This September, life and death converge in an interesting way. Susan's funeral is being held on the day I turn 29, six days after memorial services will have taken place across the country for Jeffrey and the rest of the victims of 9/11. The celebration of my life will be accompanied by the presence of death and the awareness of how precious we all are to each other, right now.

This month, my fear of losing those I love will be the catalyst for me to remind them that they are loved. And as we grieve for our losses, I will do my best to ensure that we remember all that is not lost.

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K. Aitken Aug. 16, 2011 @ 8:37 a.m.

Bless you Barb. I have similar feelings surrounding loss.

Right now our family is trying to find a lost member of our family, Marie Hanson. http://mariehansonmissing.com/ She went to the Rainbow Gathering in July and never came home.

Those two weeks before your cousin's body was found must have been agonizing, especially coupled with the national tragedy that everyone was experiencing. Marie's family is going through something similar. One of ours is missing, and the void is unspeakably deep and horrifying. One cannot begin to imagine "what if" because the fear is too big.

It's now been a month and a half, and still no word, no clues, no answers. But you voiced how I'm feeling: this is a good opportunity to remind those I love of my feelings. This is a teaching moment and an experience that will forever change those who are touched by the event.

Bless your cousin Jeffrey, and your family who will have to live daily with the loss of someone so dear.


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