“I was only nine years old, but I knew what death was. It was the end. When it came to my dad though, no amount of rational thought could outweigh my feelings. I watched the footage over and over again, trying to validate my hopes and dreams, believing there was a minute possibility he made it out of the building alive.”
After his father died on 9/11 in the World Trade Center, nine-year-old Matthew John Bocchi began an obsessive quest to find out exactly how he died. He researched video tapes, pictures, blogs, anything that could potentially answer the question looming in his mind: was his father one of the jumpers? In the first memoir told by a child of 9/11, Matt intimately delves into the psychological and emotional torment that ensued after his father’s death. With heartbreaking vulnerability, he details how his incessant quest resulted in a devastating act of violence that stripped his innocence as a young man. As Matt spirals down a bottomless pit of drug abuse, he willfully risks his life in search of the next high—all in an attempt to forget his past.
Now at twenty-eight years old and sober, he recounts his unique story—one full of heartbreak and despair, grief and uncertainty, but most importantly, happiness and hope. The lesson he teaches us is clear but intricate: No matter how far you fall, you can always rise again. No matter how far you stray, you can always find your way home. And no matter how wide you sway, you can always pick up the pieces and stand tall.