Marian FontanaQuestions and Topics for Discussion
1. Marian’s memoir is incredibly sad in so many moments and hilariously funny in others. What is the role of humor in her story? What is the role of humor in grief and in healing?
2. Marian experiences both a very personal loss, but also a public loss. September 11 was a national event and Dave’s death became part of the history and legacy of that day. On page 114 Marian writes, “What happened to our husbands and so many others has made privacy impossible.” In what ways is Marian’s loss the same or different than if Dave had died on a regular day in the line of duty?
3. In the year after 9/11 Marian witnessed an astounding outpouring of concern and generosity from people all over the world and also encountered people who were insensitive and obtuse about her loss. How do you explain these wide disparities in people’s reactions to September 11? Are some people genuinely compassionate and others not? Do you think 9/11 affected people who lived near the tragedy or had a connection to New York more than other people?
4. Marian and Theresa feel bad when they realize they are getting different treatment as widows of firefighters. Kathleen, who is with them, refers to their checks as “blood money.” Do you think the families of non-firefighters were treated fairly after 9/11? H