As one of countless unwedded widows, there were many challenges and layers of grief I faced which were different from those facing married widows. I was interviewed for this piece which appeared in the New York Times in September 2002, and I think the reporter, Katherine Rosman, did a really great job of articulating some of them…
By KATHERINE ROSMAN
Published: September 8, 2002
GRETCHEN ZURN, a 30-year-old marketing executive as petite as a teenage gymnast, sipped from a glass of Coke, then inhaled deeply before uttering the words. ”Yes,” she said, almost defiantly. ”I’ve been dating.”
Under ordinary circumstances, such a disclosure from an attractive single woman would hardly be freighted with meaning. But Ms. Zurn’s fiancé, Gregory Spagnoletti, was killed last Sept. 11. He worked on the 89th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center.
In the year since the attacks, Ms. Zurn has experienced the complex emotions of a special subset of the grieving: the girlfriends, boyfriends, fiancées and fiancés of those who died. A group of those survivors — who probably total close to 1,000 — said that, lacking the legal status of spouses, they often feel overlooked by traditional support groups and families of the deceased. At the same time, many feel misunderstood by their own families and friends, who want them to stop grieving and get on with their lives.
Read more here.