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This anniversary makes my heart hurt.

It is such a dark day that comes along at one of the most beautiful times of year.

Below is a piece (slightly updated) that I wrote a few years ago.


And here we are again.

September 11th.

9 years later.

I remember that day and all its horrors so vividly. I remember the endless aching that followed as I and everyone else futilely tried to make sense of something so violent and cruel and of course, completely senseless.

I remember pouring over the “New York Times’ Portraits of Grief” where the paper honored each and every victim with poignant, beautiful details of their lives.

And for some reason, Michele Coyle-Eulau always stuck with me. I didn’t know her. Only what I read. She had three sons, 2, 5 and 7 years-old.

Matthew, Mark and Eric.  The children who were waiting for her to come home that day.

She was a working mom, who juggled a full and hectic schedule, including a three day a week job as a systems analyst. She worked one day from home and two days on the 96th floor of Tower One. The World Trade Center.

She was 38 years-old.

At night her husband would yell out to her, “Michelle, it’s 11 o’clock! Could you just come to bed?”

And the piece ended like this…

What took her so long to get to bed? Packing lunches, making grocery lists, arranging play dates. “I never understood,” her husband said. “Now I do.”

For nine years I’ve been thinking of Michele and her family.

I’m absolutely sure that I always will.

And not a day goes by that I don’t hear the roar of an engine, look up and notice a plane flying high above.

I’m usually pushing my stroller down the street or sitting at the playground or hurrying somewhere.

I always look up.  And I always think of that day and the nearly 3,000 victims who were robbed of their lives.

Every single day.

There is no forgetting.


Lawmakers need to approve $7.4 billion in aid for 9/11 first responders.  They were told the air was safe to breathe and now they are losing their lives. The bill would provide free health care and compensation payments to the rescue and recovery workers who got sick after working at ground zero. We must take care of these heroes.

23 Responses to remembering michele coyle-eulau

  • Susan Kintner says:

    Beautifully written Kelcey and may we all pray today and everyday that everyone around the world, including ourselves and our families, be healthy, peaceful and free from suffering. With love to all, Susan

  • sara says:

    Thanks Kelcey – because as much as it’s easier to not think about and grieve our friends and/or family who lost their lives that day, it’s so important that we do.

  • Jaki Suter says:

    The heartache of that day has come roaring back once again. I suppose it always will. That you for putting words to the feeling.

  • Meg D says:

    So well put.

    Thanks for the reminder about Portraits of Grief. It was a beautiful, tragic set of tributes those lost.

    I always remember reading the one about a man I saw regularly at the gym. I was fortunate enough not to lose anyone I was close to (our neighbor narrowly escaped). And so it shook me to read about one of the regular strangers in my daily routine. We’ll never forget them, even if we didn’t actually know them. I know they are resting in peace.

    Thanks again to your post.

  • Abby says:

    Great post sweets. I didn’t lose anyone but living in NYC I feel the loss every year. I’m so glad we all still remember and never forget.

  • Diane says:

    May we never forget – those that were involuntarily involved and those that were (first responders). May we never forget to do what is right by them and those that serve our contry today – by putting their lives on the line for ours. Beautifully written. Thanks.

  • Aimee says:

    Absolutely the saddest day I have ever lived for a city I love more then words could ever express. I hold onto the wall near the hospital that spread with posters of “lost” loved ones, and the smell of death that permeating everything when I went to ground zero a week later. Never mind that the city, bustle and hustle, was in complete silence.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Will Man’s inhumanity to Man ever end? Are we destined to always be building memorials and tributes to victims and heroes? Humans might just be the ‘lowest animal’ form on earth and I stopped asking WHY a long time ago…there doesn’t seem to ever be an answer; just a river of tears. Thanks Kelcey….very poetic.

  • mom101 says:

    There’s one person from that series who always stayed with me too. I forget his name but he was right out of college, the first of his family to go to college, and for some reason I just connected with him. They were so proud of him. And then…he was gone.

    Thank you for remembering.

  • TinkAe says:

    I really like your post & I think it very important that the responders, whomever they are have their medical care provided by our lawmakers. It is the will of the people to care for those who made such personal sacrifices. I’m not against a monument at the site. But, the priority is clearly to care for those responders.

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kelcey kintner