Messages from Loved Ones Who Died on 9/11

Bonnie McEneaney’s Messages is about those who died on September 11, 2001. Yet anyone who has ever lost a loved one will find comfort, solace, peace, and, yes, love within these pages. For even though her book deals with death, her book also deals with life after death for those who leave us but still, in many ways, remain with us.

McEneaney’s husband, Eamon, was in the World Trade Center when the planes hit on that tragic day. Standing in her backyard in Connecticut, shortly after receiving the devastating news, Bonnie screamed, “Eamon, where are you???” never expecting an answer. She didn’t hear his voice, but the still air suddenly became a violent wind that rustled the trees, stirred the leaves, and lifted Bonnie’s skirt. As quickly as the wind arrived it left. At that moment, Bonnie knew that Eamon was gone and he had somehow delivered that message himself.

Coincidence? Maybe. Eamon, however, wasn’t done communicating with his wife. There was the blue heron, not a native bird in Connecticut and one that held special significance to Bonnie’s family, that suddenly appeared in the cemetery while she was selecting a burial plot. There was the penny with a particular date on it that inexplicably turned up in a menu when Bonnie was dining out with friends. There was the return of Eamon’s wedding ring, somehow found amidst all the debris at Ground Zero. And when Bonnie thought back to the days before September 11, she recalled Eamon’s somber mood, how he had expressed concern about the future. One example: “You know, every morning when we leave for work, we don’t know if we’ll return.” Another: “Bonnie, you’d better start applying more discipline to the children, because when I’m gone, you’re going to have a hard time.”

If Bonnie had kept her thoughts to herself, the story might have ended there. Once she began to talk with other relatives of those who had died on 9/11, however, she knew she was not alone. Was it possible that those who died were communicating with their loved ones? Even, in some cases, appearing to them? It’s easy to dismiss one, two, even a dozen stories. Bonnie has pulled together so many that the sheer volume becomes difficult to ignore.

While the book focuses on the tragedy of that horrible September day, anyone who has ever felt the presence of a loved one who has died will be comforted by Messages. Is it wishful thinking that those who die go on to a better place? Perhaps. Do those left behind convince themselves that their relatives have found peace to ease their own suffering? How do those who don’t believe in life after death reconcile loss?

Messages can’t answer all those questions of course. No one can. So much has been written about 9/11, about the violence, the hatred, the destruction. Messages can’t erase the past. But Bonnie’s message may offer the best way of coping with the future.

Bonnie McEneaney


Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11

William Morrow

About Charlene Giannetti (839 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines including the New York Times. She is the author of 12 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her new book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Charlene divides her time between homes in Manhattan and Alexandria, Virginia.

1 Comment on Messages from Loved Ones Who Died on 9/11

  1. Whether or not the communication is really happening, the fact that people feel that it is, is a testament to the love and deep connection they still feel to those who were lost on 9/11. This seems to be an inspirating book.

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