This Is Danny Pearl’s Final Story

 

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Credit : Piotr Lesniak

“What is grief?” I recently asked psychologist Steven Stosny, posing the obvious question I’d avoided for so long.

“It’s an expression of love,” he told me. “When you grieve, you allow yourself to love again.”

“How do you grieve?” I asked him.

“You celebrate a person’s life by living your life fully.”

• • •

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed never said a word to the court in Guantánamo that day. When the last words of the 88-page charge sheet were finally read at 10:28 pm, 13 hours and 5 minutes after the proceeding began, the judge cracked his gavel and just like that the arraignment came to a swift, odd end.

KSM stood up and smiled, and I watched as he picked up a stack of books draped with his tazbi, his prayer beads. A minute later, he was gone. And what was I left with?

Relief. Relief that I could finally feel sad that Danny would never come back.

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