A 9/11 Widow’s Final Conversation With Her Husband Is A Reminder Of What Truly Matters In Our Final Moments

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Sean Rooney was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. When the building was first hit with the planes, Sean’s instinct was to call his wife.

Their conversation became a testament to true love and a reminder of what really matters at the end of our days and the impact of our loved ones on our lives while they’re here and even after they’re gone.

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Calm In The Chaos

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 04: A pristine day looking toward lower Manhattan across the East River, one month before the World Trade Center Twin Towers fell in 2001. New York, New York

Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Sean Rooney was working in the south tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, a day that not only marked all of humanity but touched individual lives on a deep, tragic personal level.

Sean was working on the 105th floor, meaning the way down would be long and almost impossible. When the planes hit, a million things could have been going through Sean’s mind as his body was feeling threatened and the entirety of his being was entering survival mode. Yet, only one thing seemed clear to Sean at that moment….it was his wife’s soothing, loving voice. He knew that no matter what was happening around him, he needed to call Beverly. He knew that somehow the love of his life would get him through the chaos, no matter the outcome.

A Final Phone Call

Beverly hugs Sean by christmas tree

BeverlyAnnEckert / Facebook

BeverlyAnnEckert / Facebook

Beverly remembers Sean calling her around 9:30 am from work. She likely didn’t think much of it at first, as for most people, this was meant to be just another typical day of the office. After all, how could they expect the worse as they left their houses in their suits and briefcase that morning, kissing their wives goodbye and assuming they’d be home for dinner? Sean knew that the chances of him being home ever again were getting slimmer and slimmer by the second.

He called Beverly hoping that her loving voice would keep him calm as he desperately searched for a way out of the smoke and fire. But the longer they were on the phone, the more the reality seemed clear: Sean was trapped. Rather than talk of regret and sorrow, Beverely recalls: We stopped talking about escape routes, and then we just began talking about all the happiness we shared during our lives together.”

In A Split Moment, He Was Gone

Beverly (older) holds sean's picture close as she sits down

BeverlyAnnEckert / Facebook

BeverlyAnnEckert / Facebook

As the stairwell filled with smoke, Beverly’s heart was aching for her husband. She asked him if it was hard to breathe, and after pausing for a moment, he said no. Beverly knew that this was a lie, and one last showcase of how much he truly loved her and wanted to protect her, even when he was suffering. The smoke kept getting thicker and thicker as Sean kept whispering to Beverly: “I love you” over and over again.

Soon, Beverly heard a sharp noise on the other end of the line followed by a bigger crash. Beverly knew that this was the sound of the towers collapsing. Just like that, her lover was gone forever. All it took was a split moment for his voice to fade. Now all Beverly was left with was the memory of her late husband, with his warm brown eyes and dark curly hair. She remembered how good of a hugger he was. She would have done anything to be wrapped up in his arms one last time. It’s an important reminder that we should all hold our loved ones tight while we can. We never think such a tragedy could happen to us unless someone we love is snatched from our arms too soon.

A Lifetime Brought To A Shattering End Point

old school picture of Beverly in black and white

BeverlyAnnEckert / Facebook

BeverlyAnnEckert / Facebook

The couple had met when they were just 16 years old at their high school dance. This was the moment that would bring them together for the next four decades. When Sean passed, he was 50 years old.

Beverly wished she could have been with her husband, and even died with him. She couldn’t imagine living without him after all these years. But she wanted to honor his memory. She remembers how he told her that he wanted her to live a full life and didn’t wish for her to be with him just yet. In the first moments he was gone, Beverly kept calling Sean’s name through the phone, hoping that somehow he would have made it through and that he’d come back home to hold on to her just like he used to. Instead, Beverly just sat there having no idea how she was going to move forward.

Grief Is Itself A Medicine

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes at 9:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001 in New York City. The crash of two airliners hijacked by terrorists loyal to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and subsequent collapse of the twin towers killed some 2,800 people.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

While the tragedy of 9/11 keeps growing into a distant memory over time, many are still grieving the loss of the loved ones they lost that day. Nearly 3,000 people were killed that day, leaving husbands, wives, mothers, sons, fathers, and daughters alike with nothing but memories of a person they thought they would be seeing again at the end of that day.

This grief was amplified that day but it’s the same one that is shared by any person who has lost a loved one before their time should have been due. It’s never easy to say goodbye to someone we love, but it should serve as motivation to hold onto them while we can and make our time worthwhile. They say grief is itself a medicine because it allows for us to hold on to the memories of those we love, and the things we loved about them, keeping them alive and present in a way.

A New Reality Sets In

rock dedicated to beverly at the Glenbrook community

BeverlyAnnEckert / Facebook

BeverlyAnnEckert / Facebook

Beverly thought of that last conversation all the time. She didn’t want that day to end, as that would mean that the next day, the reality would have to set that the world is waking up without Sean. She remembered feeling like as long as she didn’t go to sleep, the day would still be one that she got to share with Sean. The memory of him kissing her goodbye that morning was still fresh. All a sudden, none of their arguments even ever mattered.

“I like to think of myself as living life for both of us now,” Beverly said, adding: “I’d like to think that he’d be proud of me.” Unfortunately, In 2009, Beverly met her own tragic fate when her plane crashed as she was on her way to commemorate Sean’s birthday. However, it felt symbolic and she ended up joining him after all.

What Matters At The End

old beverly deep in thought with her hand holding her chin

BeverlyAnnEckert / Facebook

BeverlyAnnEckert / Facebook

At the end of our days, it’s not money, things, or places that we take with us to the grave. These things are not comforting in our last moments when we know that the end is inevitable. What matters in those moments is the people we love, and the memories we have shared with them. The human connection undeniably shapes our identity and impacts the life we lead. It’s up to us to keep the right people around and make enough good memories to reflect back on and hold onto at the end of our lives.

To live a life without regret, make sure you’re prioritizing those you love and creating memories with them. On your deathbed, how much you worked and how much you spent won’t matter, but your time and how you spent it will be the key to your happiness and fill you with peace as you leave this world.

Make Your Days Count While You’re Here

NEW YORK - AUGUST 22: September 11th missing person posters are shown attached to a wall outside Saint Vincent's Hospital August 22, 2002 in New York City. The posters have been attached to the wall since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks took place in New York City.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Don’t waste your entire life chasing after an unattainable standard. Instead, find your purpose and let it guide you towards a life that feels meaningful and fulfilling for you. Don’t fall into the trap of getting stuck in the mundane routine of the everyday, let your whole life pass you by, and miss out on what you were actually intended to do while you’re here.

Are you still searching for your life purpose? You won’t believe what the science of Numerology can reveal about you. The numerology of your birth date, regardless of what month you were born, can reveal surprising information about your life path.

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Higher Perspectives Author

Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives