Gabrielle Giffords has long known that she was injured in a shooting that claimed six lives, but family and friends waited until recently to tell the Arizona congresswoman the full story: That among the dead were 30-year-old aide Gabe Zimmerman, who she adored as if he were family, friend John Roll, and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green. "She was deeply saddened by it," says a spokesman, who tells the Arizona Republic that Giffords was told in late July, just before her unexpected appearance on the House floor.
That quickly resulted in a phone call to Zimmerman's dad, Ross. "It wasn't very long, but it covered important things," he says. "She said she felt awful about Gabe. When Mark (Kelly) commented that she thought of him (Gabe) as her little brother, she said 'yes' very emphatically." "She's having to learn how to write with her left hand at this point. And now, she's having to start the grieving process that the rest of us started back in January," Zimmerman added.