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Kathy and Dan's daughter, Jessica, admits that her family has been in a state of denial since the tragic events of September 11. At first, Jessica coped with her loss by indulging her own online shopping addiction. Without anyone to console her during many sleepless nights, Jessica would turn to the computer for comfort. "[Online shopping] was a quick fix," Jessica says. "It was like a drug. I had something new—something to look forward to tomorrow. It became an addiction."

Without a body to bury or a gravesite to visit, Jessica says that even now her family has yet to deal with the death of her dad. "There's no closure for us," Jessica says. "We obviously know that he's gone, but there's no ground that we can go to and say our respects to him except for Ground Zero…which I refuse to go down there."

Why won't she visit the former site of the World Trade Center? Jessica says she can't stand the way people are "glamorizing" Ground Zero by taking pictures and selling memorabilia. She also can't stand it when people judge her family for their spending habits.

"I couldn't say, 'This person lost their brother, I know what they went through,' because nobody knows what anyone else is going through," Jessica says. "So when somebody judges me or my mother or my brothers, I become very defensive. That's my family."

Although from the outside Kathy is doing all the things a mother should do—like throwing birthday parties and going to her sons' sporting events—Jessica says, in many ways, it's like she lost both parents on the morning of September 11.
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FROM: 9/11 Widow Stuck in Her Grief
Published on October 24, 2005

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