Daughter of 9/11 victim helping Sandy Hook cope with loss - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Daughter of 9/11 victim helping Sandy Hook cope with loss

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A Milford woman who lost her father in the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 is talking about her own healing 12 years later.

She's working on a new project that will help a community dealing with another horrible day.

Amanda Gregory lost her father and never talked to anyone about it. But after connecting with the group Tuesday's Children, she said the healing has begun and she's sharing what she has learned with those impacted by the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Gregory said she remembers the last phone call with her father.

"I talked to him about going back to work and I told him I loved him," she said.

Donald Gregory, 62, worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the North Tower at the World Trade Center and didn't make it out.

Amanda Gregory said she never realized how much her life has changed until recently when she became involved with Tuesday's Children.

"If you don't deal with something, it deals with you," Tuesday's Children Director Terry Sears said. "You really need to get in front of it."

Tuesday's Children formed in the wake of 9/11. More than 3,000 children lost a parent in the attacks.

The group first helped those children find each other.

"I think it's a sense of connection," Amanda Gregory said. "You don't even have to say a word and they'll understand you."

A decade later, Tuesday's Children continues connecting them to services from counseling when they are ready to go, to skill development and career resources.

Because of the success, a mother of a child at Sandy Hook reached out.

"When the Resiliency Center of Newtown came to us and asked for help, we said, ‘We're there,'" Sears said.

Stephanie Cinque is getting ready to launch the Resiliency Center of Newtown later this month.

"If people want to have support groups of any kind, they can have them in this room," she said.

The center uses the same ideas as Tuesday's Children, that people impacted by a traumatic event don't often realize they need help until years later.

"Amanda is somebody for 10 years who thought she was alone, and she wasn't alone," Cinque said. "Now she's able to teach us the importance of being around long term."

"Grieving isn't a sign of being weak," Gregory said. "It's actually the strong people who can reach out and get help."

She said it's working for her, and on this day when people remember what happened 12 years ago, they should also realize something else.

"If those who took so much from us that day could have imagined 12 years later that organizations like Tuesday's Children will now be reaching out to create more positive changes and impact our world, to me, that really is us standing up, standing tall and standing resilient," Gregory said.

To read about Amanda Gregory's story, click here.

For more information about the Resiliency Center of Newtown, click here.

For information about Tuesday's Children, click here.

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