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Michele Nelson was working at Cantor Fitzgerald in the north tower as a human resources benefits specialist on September 11, 2001. The 27-year-old was active in the Linden church in Queens, where she served as church clerk; assistant treasurer; a member of AYS, new believers, and hospitality committees; and as a junior deaconess and usher.
Monique Nelson Riviere, sister of Michele, expressed calmness when asked for an update on her family. “While we do miss Michele,” she said, “we’re doing pretty well; we’re surrounded by lots of loving family and friends.”
Both Monique and her mother, Winsome Nelson-Reid, are still active in their churches. Monique runs a ministry at her church for job seekers and small business owners, as well as a technology ministry. Winsome is involved in women’s and hospitality ministries.
When asked what advice she would give to those who have lost loved ones, Monique referred to her experience with GriefShare, a 13-week program to help those who are coping with tragedy. “It was good to sit in a group and hear others’ experiences—what they went through and how they were dealing [with it].”
Monique described the healing process this way: “[Imagine you are] at a major intersection, and suddenly are hit by a big bus that doesn’t kill you but bangs up your leg pretty badly. As a matter of fact, you lose your right leg below the kneecap. . . . But eventually . . . with surgery from the doctor, therapy, and the fact that you were pretty healthy to begin with, you begin to heal so much that by the next year your limp is less noticeable and it doesn’t hurt so much. . . .
“Both before and after [September 11], I have had losses in my life that I realize are part of life, however unexpected they may be. If you don’t know how to deal with someone who has experienced [tragedy or loss], pause a moment,” Monique advised. “Accept that people can and do heal, and if they are Christian like me, they can do so because they know that God knows all things and cradles [His children] always in the palm of His hands.
“Healing doesn’t mean that I don’t experience sad moments,” Monique concluded. “But I don’t wallow in those moments. It means I can get up and keep going.”
—Addison Hudgins, a junior at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, wrote this while an intern for the Adventist Review.

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