Grieving season

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 is today

Shari L. Ostroff, licensed professional counselor.



By Robert Medley

Managing Editor

 When terrorists in hijacked airplanes slammed into the Twin Towers in New York City 20 years ago, shockwaves were felt worldwide, and the impact is still heavy two decades later, said Shari L. Ostroff, a Yukon licensed professional counselor.

There were 2,977 people killed on Sept. 11, 2001, including 125 people at The Pentagon.

In the Heartland of America, in Yukon, the grief is real, the horrible images remembered, Ostroff said.

She said 9/11, for those who were alive, has not been forgotten. Nor should it be, but instead, the grief should be dealt with, she said. Major events can be hard to handle. The horror of 9/11 has been ingrained in memories, she said.


“When we think of an event, or something that is significant, we all have flashbacks to what happened. Depending on what our role was,” Ostroff said.

In 2001, on Sept. 11, she said she was working in a dental office with patients when she heard a breaking news alert form the waiting room TV.

“It was shock. You can’t believe that that happened. Then I had to go back to clients,” Ostroff said.

Grief Tree Counseling of Yukon can be reached by calling 405-999-0297. (Photo provided)

She remembers how all the phones were busy, and world chaos ensued as people tried to reach loved ones.

“When we are looking at a large-scale event, we all can remember what we were doing, the impact is so strong and so severe it shakes all of us to the core. We have to grieve as a community, grieve as a nation, grieve as a world because everyone can relate to loss,” Ostroff said.

She said the world has been changed since 9/11.  People have feelings of distrust and fears of more manmade tragedy.

Ostroff is originally from Montreal, Quebec, in Canada. She said she knows people who had friends who died in New York.

Nowadays, there is plenty of ongoing grief from the COVID-19 pandemic, too, she said. And for the next four months, holiday season grief through New Year’s Day can be debilitating for some who have lost loved ones, or whose memories are not always happy of the Christmas season.

Any anniversary can trigger such memories.

“I have so many clients who are suffering so much right now,” Ostroff said. “They are truly, truly suffering.”

Ostroff said grief and loss comes in a “basket of multifactorial components.”

“Grief tugs at our hearts and minds through any significant loss or conflict. I have a strong passion for helping people who are struggling with grief and loss from the death of a loved one, trauma, relationship issues, blended families, career issues, as well as life’s trials and tribulations,” she said.

Ostroff said compassion and integrity are at the core of her practice.

“My goal is to foster hope. My view is that of being supportive and collaborative, using ethical and evidence-based approaches to meet your need. I will use my skills as a psychotherapist to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment. I will join you on your journey toward peace, resolution and coping,” Ostroff said.

“My experience is strong as grief and loss are my niche. It is my privilege to provide you with support and guidance,” Ostroff said.

She said grief can be even more difficult for a person who does not learn how to grieve at all.

“I think it is not about moving on and forgetting but calibrating our emotions, going through them, and checking ourselves, Ostroff said.

She has counseled and interviewed first responders, as well.

People must recognize that they need to grieve, and not feel guilty about how things might have been. Feelings of guilt or regret are almost too hard to bear because the pain is so strong, and we think about what we could have done differently,” Ostroff said.

She said due to the pandemic, she is doing teleconference counseling. Ostroff accepts some insurance policies and self-pay.

Ostroff, a licensed professional counselor, is currently featured on the “Psychology Today,” website,

Ostroff says she is available to counsel for grief, loss, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and she can be reached for a free phone consultation at 405-999-0297.