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Diqui LaPenta

People have asked me what got me through that period. Well, I had two of the best dogs on Earth, including Rich’s dog Raven, who depended on me for everything. They loved the beach and playing fetch; that’s enough to cheer most people up. My housemate and best friends made sure that I ate and occasionally got out of the house for more than doggie care.

The extended community here was also wonderful. Colleagues stepped in with no notice to take on the extra work of teaching my classes for a month. Donations to local environmental groups were made in Rich’s name. A local gas station waived what he owed on his credit card.

I had to face the fact that, even though it felt as if my world ended when Rich was killed, the world kept turning and life kept going forward. I started seeing a grief therapist, and she was key in helping me work through my grief.

It was a gradual process; I acted as if life was normal until I could feel like life was normal. Eventually, I was able to consider another relationship. I met my husband in 2006. We married in 2009.

One particularly helpful thing I did was join Peaceful Tomorrows. I found it through a web search, around 2011, and I’ve only met with members in person once, at our retreat in White Plains, New York.

Being surrounded by people who genuinely know just how you feel and what you’ve lost is very powerful. They’re also all people who, like me, believe that violence is never the answer. It’s been very important to me to actively work for peace in the world as a way to counteract the terror of the 9/11 attacks.

Filed in: Member Stories, Members

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Peaceful Tomorrows receives no money from 9/11 charities or disbursements. We depend entirely on individual and foundation grants to continue our work. More...

Editorial Policy: This website contains information related to the mission and goals of Peaceful Tomorrows and is intended for educational, non-commercial use. We highlight the projects undertaken by our organization, print essays and speeches made by 9/11 family members of our group, and post photo galleries which reflect the activities of our members around the world.

September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is fiscally sponsored by Tides Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Please visit www.tides.org/state-nonprofit-disclosures/ for additional information.

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