Grief Changes Everything

This time of year is filled with celebrations: my anniversary, my wifes birthday, two granddaughters birthdays, Christmas, and my birthday. Christmas was Alicias favorite holiday.

She was killed on September 11, 2001 on United Flight 175. At first, holidays, birthdays and other special days were so painful. I didnt know how we would get through it. 

For the first Christmas after Alicias death, our immediate family and her boyfriend went away from the hustle and bustle and traditional reminders of the holidays to the mountains in Montana. The second Christmas was spent on the beach in Florida.

During the first year I wrote daily in my journal, which became a book in 2011. It was a place I retreated to try to make sense of this horrific loss and I joined organizations like ACCESS and September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. Compassionate others who have experienced similar losses, have helped us in untold ways. When we join together with caring others who really know what we are going through, it gives us great comfort.

Eventually, as we learned to cope with our loss, we also learned how to re-integrate back into our extended familys holiday traditions. I have learned how to cry when I need to and to allow my emotions to run their course. I have allowed the grieving process to unfold with all of the pain, the sadness, despair and heartache. And I have learned how to live more fully with the understanding that life is experienced in the here and now, and tomorrow is promised to no one.

To all of you who are experiencing grief during this holiday season,
I send my heartfelt love and compassion.

John Titus lost his daughter Alicia, 28, on United Flight 175 on 9/11

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Surviving Sudden Loss: Stories from those who have lived it

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Private Plane - 9/26/12
Rockingham County, VA
Private Plane - 2/27/11
Abu Dhabi
Private Plane - 12/22/10
Barrington, NY
Private Plane - 7/17/10
South Portland, ME
Air India Express 812 - 5/22/10
Mangalore, India
Afriqiyah Airways 8U771- 5/12/10
Tripoli, Libya
Ethiopian Airlines 409 - 1/25/10
Off of Na'ameh, Lebanon
Air France Flight 447 - 6/1/09
Atlantic Ocean
Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 - 2/25/09
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Continental Flight 3407 - 2/12/09
Clarence Center, NY
US Airways Flight 1549 - 1/15/09
Hudson River, NY
Aeroflot Flight 821 - 9/14/08
Perm, Russia
Spanair JK 5022 - 8/20/08
Madrid, Spain
TAM Airways JJ 3054 - 7/17/07
São Paulo, Brazil
Comair Flight 5191 - 8/27/06
Lexington, KY
Airbus A320-211 - 5/3/06
Off Sochi, Russia
Bellview Airlines - 10/23/05
West Caribbean Airways 708 - 8/16/05
Machiques, Venezuela
Air France Flight 358 - 8/2/05
Ontario, Canada
Kam Air Flight 904 - 2/3/05
Pamir Mountains, Afghanistan
Corporate Airlines 5966 - 10/19/04
Pettis Township, MO
Kish Airlines Flight 1770 - 2/10/04
United Arab Emirates
Georgian Express Flight 126 - 1/17/04
Ontario, Canada
Flash Airlines 604 - 1/3/04

Red Sea

Turkish Airlines 634 - 1/8/03

Diyarbakır Airport, Turkey

US Airways Express/Air Midwest Flight 5481 - 1/8/03

Charlotte, NC

American Flight 587 - 11/12/01

Queens, NY

The events of September 11, 2001

Private Plane - 12/3/00
Milltown, WI
Singapore Airlines 006 - 10/31/00

Chiang Kai-shek Internat'l Airport

Gulf Air Bus A320 - 8/23/00

Persian Gulf, Bahrain

Air France Concorde 4590 - 7/25/00

Gonesse, France

Alaska Airlines 261 - 1/31/00

Pacific Ocean

Egypt Air 990 - 10/31/99

Atlantic Ocean

American Airlines 1420 - 6/1/99

Little Rock, AR

Swissair 111 - 9/2/98

Atlantic Ocean

Private Plane - 8/4/98
Phillips, WI
TWA 800 - 7/17/96

US Air 427 9/8/94

Allegheny County, PA

Long Island, NY

Pan Am 103 - 12/21/88

Lockerbie, Scotland

TWA/United Airlines - Mid-Air Collision- 12/16/1960
Brooklyn & Staten Island, NY
and hundreds of other private, commercial and military air disasters

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