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burying blood

Michael Ragusa's funeral is next week.

Michael died almost two years ago, on September 11, 2001. He is just one of at least half of the people who died that day whose remains have not been identified and most likely will never be.

His family will instead bury a vial of Michael's blood, saved from when he donated to a bone marrow center. It is the only part of Michael's body they have left to bury.

Closure may be an overused word these days, but it is an important concept. So many families of the victims of 9/11 will not have a full sense of closure because there was nothing left of their loved ones - or nothing that could be found among the ruins of the World Trade Center.

I can only imagine that the emptiness one feels when someone they love dies is only compounded when there is nothing concrete to put in a coffin.

When I went to the memorial services for Claude Richards, there was nothing of him. No coffin, no urn, just memories of the man, pictures, mementos. I felt more like we were memorializing a missing man, rather than a dead man.

It speaks of the massive destruction caused by people wanting to make a statement against us. People were here, and now they are gone and there was nothing left to show their families any evidence that yes, they are dead. Of course, there is no doubting that fact but there's still that word - closure - something that evades the families of those never found.

Just one more thing that still haunts us two years later. One more reason to never forget, one more reason why it is still so fresh and raw 24 months after the first plane hit.

Michael Ragusa's family at least has his blood. "I'd much rather have a bottle of blood that flowed through him while he was alive than parts of his body," Ragusa's mother said.

Some families don't even have that.


UPDATE: More from blogger Frank, who was related to Michael.


even though I didn't lose anyone I knew in the 9/11 attacks, even though I live far, far away from New York and Washington, I cried when I read the story about the family who buried the blood of their loved one.

and I cried when I heard on the news about the woman who was given her fiance's heart to bury.

and after I cried, I got angry. I'm still angry.

Finally, Dee and Vincent will have some closure - as will the rest of the family...

Michael is my cousin's cousin by marriage but our families have known each other since the late fifties when my parents and Michael's aunt & uncle were stationed in Germany together and from there a very strong friendship had grown between them and our families...


Extremely powerful post....