It's devastating enough to lose a loved one, without having to live with the knowledge that you missed one last chance to speak with them, to say "I love you" and "goodbye."
On the anniversary of 9/11, KTVU evening anchor Frank Somerville shared a Facebook post about his most haunting memory of the September 11 attacks. The event that stuck with him, however, took place a year after that monumental tragedy.
Somervllle was interviewing a man who had lost his wife on 9/11. Jack Grandcolas had been waiting for his wife to return to their home in the Bay Area. Lauren was pregnant at the time with what would have been their first child, and though she wasn't meant to be on that flight, she switched over because there were seats available and it meant she would have reached home sooner.
After the plane was hijacked, Lauren called Jack, but he was asleep upstairs and didn't hear the phone ring. So she left him a message.
Somerville, with whom Jack shared the recording, recalls that Lauren's voice was astonishingly steady. She'd swallowed whatever fear she had in order to leave her husband one last bright memory.
“Honey, are you there?
Jack, pick up sweetie.
Okay, well I just wanted to tell you I love you.
We’re having a little problem on the plane.”
“I’m totally fine, I just love you more than anything, just know that.
And you know, I’m, you know, I’m comfortable and I’m okay... for now.
Just a little problem.
So I just love you, please tell my family I love them too.
Jack believed that Lauren had wanted to say "I'll call you later," but she couldn't lie to him. She knew she wasn't going to make it.
In his post, Somerville shared that, of all the interviews he's done through his career, of all the horrors he's seen, this is the one that haunted him the most.
There was an outpouring of commiseration in the comments section, with every person sharing their own personal memories of 9/11, their personal losses.