9/11 widow moves to Seattle, writes message of hope


by JOE FRYER / KING 5 News


Posted on September 6, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 6 at 6:41 PM

SEATTLE -- Two years after the 9/11 attacks robbed Abby Carter of her husband, she began to write. Emotions poured from her fingerprints as she typed her raw, powerful thoughts. 

"I wasn't worried about grammar or punctuation or necessarily getting the story right," she said.  "It was very cathartic. Half the time, tears are dripping down onto the computer."

The end product was a book entitled, "The Alchemy of Loss: A Young Widow's Transformation."

"I wrote the book that I really needed to read at the time," Carter said. "When I was going through it, I just wanted someone there to say, 'It's gonna get better. It's not always going to be this difficult.'"

Carter's husband, Arron, did not even work at the World Trade Center. He just happened to be there for a trade show that day. He was on the very top of one of the buildings when he called home on the morning of 9/11.

"He said, 'I'm at the Windows of the World, I'm at the World Trade Center. There's been a bomb. Call 911,'" Carter recalled.

Moments later she turned on the TV and watched as a second airplane flew into one of the Twin Towers. She immediately realized it was not a bomb. 

"I didn't know which building he was in," she said. "I didn't know if it was in the first building, the second building, if it was in the top, if it was in the middle. I had no idea."

She would never hear from her husband again. She never knew how far down the stairs he made it before the building collapsed. And his body was never discovered.

Suddenly, she was a widow with two young children.

"It was difficult," she said. "It was really, really difficult."

In 2005, she moved her family from New Jersey to Seattle. It was here she wrote the book, which helped her deal with many of the emotions that were bottled up inside following her husband's death.

She hopes the book sends a message of hope, not just to those who lost loved ones in 9/11, but to all people who lose someone important in their lives.

Carter wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Daily News last week called, "Accepting the Gift of Grief."