Today is always a weird day for me. I’ve been doing my best to stay away from the news and other related media regarding what tomorrow is because I have nightmares, still.
I wasn’t there, though. I was 20 miles away. I don’t know anyone who died, but for weeks afterward, I saw the cars in the parking lot of our train station, gathering dust and pollen until they eventually disappeared. In the next town over from where I live now, there is a memorial with a bit of steel girder and a list of names. I drive past it at least twice a week.
So why the nightmares?
The jumpers. The people who stood at the edge of the sky and had to make a decision: burn, or jump. Those are the ones I think about, and those are the ones for whom I pray. What a test that must have been, to choose the manner of your death. No hope of rescue or escape, so you must choose. Do you burn? Or do you jump?
I’m sure some people chose to burn, and perhaps they did something to ensure they’d be unconscious before the fire got them. What would that have been like?
But the jumpers, ah.
Would you? COULD you? Would you be able to take that final step or would you need to be pushed? And then what? In those ten (fifteen?) seconds, what do you do? Eyes open, maybe? Screaming, certainly. What kinds of thoughts go through a person’s mind? Or, does the brain act charitably and black out on the way down? We’ll never know.