Grief and the Need for Sacred Space

Grief and the Need for Sacred Space

It seems impossible that 9/11 happened to us 18 years ago. EIGHTEEN years. To me, this is proof that time is in fact, not a healer, but a carrier. We are held and carried by time further and further away from the moment of anguish. I think this is as comforting as it is terrifying for a grieving person to comprehend. To move away from the day is to move away from “them”.  And while distractions, acceptance and changed habits slowly move us into less-pain-filled-space, our grief will remain and our wound stays tender when touched.

Grief requires a sacred space.

Cemeteries are hallowed ground.

Memorials keep us present with what has passed.

Online tributes are permanent internet markers that acknowledge a life that took up space.

A moment of silence is a paused and muted time reserved with care for a grief too great to speak about.

Grief requires a space to exist in. A day set aside, an anniversary that we commemorate. Whether you feel the need to grieve 9/11 with action or space is yours to determine, but the griefs of your life deserve and need a space to exist.

The wonderful thing about placing our grief is that we don’t have to live in it all the time. Just as not every day is Christmas Day, not every day is (or should be) 9/11. We cannot live in the constancy of a grief-space and time helps us not to.

So, in light of today I invite you to make some sacred space for the tragedy of 9/11 and the deep places that it stirs in all of us each year. Spend a moment in remembrance, talk about it with someone (anyone – we are all connected by it), watch a documentary, learn about one of the victims, or simply light a candle.

Make a sacred space today.
Molly Keating
Molly Keating
Hello! I'm Molly and I run & manage the Blog here at O'Connor. I grew up in a mortuary with a mortician for a father who's deep respect for the profession inspired me to give working at a mortuary a try. Work at O'Connor has brought together two of my deep passions, writing & grief awareness. In 2016 I earned Certification in the field of Thanatology, the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement. I am honored to be able to speak on these taboo topics with knowledge, compassion, and a unique perspective. I want to sincerely thank you for following & reading the blog, I hope that this is a healing place for you.


  1. Chuck Ricciardi says:

    Great blog and reminder Molly. The healing is certainly helped when we have a sacred space to be in.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Marsha Williams says:

    Molly, the 1st of this month was the 4th anniversary of my husband’s move to Heaven. In those first two years afterward I felt safe and comfortable to be in my very sacred space. And you’re right, there is the need for that same sacred space when anniversaries, conversations or memories invade, or in some instances, attack my heart.

    For me, often I sit with the pain quietly, knowing that Gods Presence is with me, or I talk to God or ask Him to talk to me through His sacred words of comfort, purpose, love and so much more in the Bible.

    You are a gifted writer and I have appreciated your
    insights over the years. Thank you! By the way, my husband worked with your father in law for many years at EFCC. Your words continue to help me, Molly. Thank you!

    • Molly Keating says:

      Oh Marsha,
      I can’t begin to thank you for your kind words.

      Bryce and I were just remembering Richard’s service and the absolute joy that he created in his ministry, life, and even at his funeral (there were several videos that had me laughing so much!). I remember thinking at his service how sad I was that I never met him – he seemed like exactly the person you would most want to know. All of that is to say, his funeral was a beautiful summary of his life. Bryce talks about him often and all of the Keating’s have great Rich Williams stories.

      Isn’t it amazing that words can create a sacred space for us? That God can give us rest and a place to go in His invisible but very profound presence? Your description of sitting “with the pain” is so significant because that is practically the only thing that we can actually do. Your grief and your life are gifts to others who are watching you and taking note of your wisdom, pace, and path through this terrible loss.

      Thank you for sharing with me & please continue to do so. I have so much to learn from people like you <3


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