wounded in the line of duty
I had a similar problem, but Firefox would not load the old tabs into about:sessionrestore even after moving them from _closedTabs to tabs (and adjusting the structure to eliminate the extra 'entries' dict in _closedTabs). Instead I used this Python script to extract the contents of the about:sessionrestore page that had been closed. After running the script you need to copy the resulting sessionstore.0, for example, to sessionstore.js (in general there may be more than one recovered session and you'll have to choose the right one). I recommend also installing SessionSaver, since it loses sessions less often than the built-in saver.
Note that this has only been tested with Firefox 10.0a2. It depends on the sessionstore files being valid JSON; I'm not sure which version that happened in. First install simplejson if it's not already installed.
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