In Memory of
Look at us Now
We got together
1981 in Review
Leuzinger High School Class of 1981 - A Tribute To Barbara Jean Arestegui - Class of 1980
Cape Cod Times - September 11, 2003 Four months after Sept. 11, Wayne Nichols took a Caribbean vacation. 'For the first time, I felt a little happy for a week, just because I was able to get away from it all,' said Nichols, a 48-year-old psychotherapist whose office overlooks Barnstable Harbor. But when he came home, that was the worst week, he said. 'It was cold, I felt so bad.' He was in the depths of mourning his girlfriend of six years, Bobbi Arestegui, a 38-year-old flight attendant, who died when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. 'I woke up one morning and said 'that's it.' I'm not going to feel like this anymore,' he said. That day, he moved some furniture in the Marstons Mills home they owned together. For the first time, he allowed the place to be something other than a shrine to the life he shared with Arestegui. Two months later, Arestegui, a beautiful woman with Spanish Basque roots, came to him in a dream. 'She told me, her wish was for me to live my life. And I protested, but she said, 'You've got a chance to go on and live.'' So that was it. If there was meaning to be gained, that was it. 'It takes a while, and there are many lapses,' he said. But two years later, Nichols can count the ways he's grabbed at life's precious offerings. He took a new job. Now, rather than working as a consultant with the Coast Guard at Air Station Cape Cod helping traumatized rescue workers - a job too heart-rending after Sept. 11 - he manages a team of employee assistance therapists around the country by telephone and computer. He stopped participating in iron man triathlons. 'It was an obsession,' he said, and he felt it robbed him of other interests. Three weeks ago, he moved out of the Marstons Mills home and into a house in Yarmouthport. He wouldn't discuss other details of his personal life. But he is moving on. The years have taught him, even as a therapist, he knew nothing about grief, he said. The concept of 'closure' one embraced by many counselors, is a myth, he said. Really, the loss will never end, like the chapter in a book. The process of grief, begins with 'feeling lousy' and may take many twists into anger, political action, lawsuits, he said. Ultimately the pain shifts from foreground to background. At its best, grief is an opportunity to grow and to learn, he said. He recalled the words of a photographer documenting the carnage at ground zero. 'I've got it,' the photographer had said. 'You've got to live.'
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