I think everyone feels it in some way. I know you did not have to be there to have been affected by it. But, it is certainly easier six months later for those who weren't. Those people cannot fully understand it. They can't understand that for many people, getting out of bed is a challenge. For others, they are able to get up and get going, but the most random of things such as a loud noise, a siren, or a smell may trigger a feeling of anxiety or emotion. It may be days of feeling great and normal and then they see a news story about the marathon or they attend a large event with a big crowd and they are right back on the Boylston St sidewalk.
All of the people I've met along the way (injured-from amputations to some hearing loss or shrapnel wounds, witnesses, first responders, etc) are great people. They are determined to do whatever it takes to move past this. Some are frustrated like I am that it is taking longer than they want. Many are accepting it, like I am, and acknowledging it is a process, not a quick fix. All of the people i've met are strong. But, not all of the time. They all have strength, but that does not mean being up and positive every second of every day. It means they face it, they work to feel better, and they let themselves fall apart when they need it. It's not just about being strong. It's about letting yourself be human and feel it all. It's about being easy on yourself and others. It's about acknowledging the tough moments, feeling them, and then moving forward rather than staying in that place (the strength part). And it's about support. It's about support from family and friends, but also the community. It's easy for the rest of the city to stay "Boston Strong" and be inspired, but it's important to also realize there are hundreds of people out there that could be silently struggling. It may be a friend, a neighbor, a family member, or just a person you pass on the street. If it's someone you know, just acknowledge it. There is no easy fix. There are no magic words. There is just simply, kindness.
I don't know what the rest of the day will bring. I am meeting another woman who was there that day in a little while to chat and working hard the rest of the day. I'm hoping it's just up from here, but fine with the possibility of some flashbacks, emotion, or other feeling that may arise. Deep breathes and my amazing support from loved ones goes a long way.