An infant coffin is just about the saddest thing in the universe.

The obituary is here.


I've never been a religious person; I'm not sure any organized religion gets it exactly right. It's especially hard for me to believe there is a higher power in times like these - who would ever take a child so soon?

I don't know. The world is a cruel place. I hope M and D and their families find some peace.

- Antiope

I bought a dress today for the funeral; I'm flying to MA early Tuesday to be there. Theseus has the physical portion of the firefighter test Tuesday, so I have to fly with Austin, alone. It's going to be a horrible trip. I'm still crying for M. I can't imagine what I'll say when I see her.

- Antiope

Yesterday, my friend M lost her baby. She was due July 25.

I don't even really know what to say about it. There are no words that will offer her comfort, I know, so I just apologize and apologize and cry to myself. This is her loss, not mine, but I know what it is like to carry a 39-week baby - how do you recover from the loss? I can't stop turning it over in my mind, how it must have felt to hear that there was no heartbeat. To be so far, to have a name picked out and a house full of baby gear, to have everyone asking when you were going to deliver, to have the nursery ready and the hospital bag packed and be right there in the home-stretch, to be just days from delivery, and then --

I look at Austin and alternate between wanting to squeeze him for eternity and feeling deep guilt in the pit of my stomach. What would my life be like without this little guy? M is still in the hospital recuperating, while N and I both have heathy babies. The three of us were all pregnant together - first me, then N, then M. Our three little ones were supposed to play together. What do I even say to M? The baby was full term. M was supposed to have a baby. 

I am absolutely crushed. It is nothing compared to how M feels.

- Antiope

Hunter's death knocked the wind out of me, and I spent the first few days wondering how it could have happened. I talked to our friends on Facebook, reading their comments that could have been my own. I listened to the saddest songs on my iPod and cried in my car.

The next couple days I spent in a cloud of anger, hating everyone and everything I came in contact with. I woke up in the mornings, enraged - I snapped at people at work, started arguments with Theseus (I'm very sorry, honey) and generally overreacted about everything.

The next stage of grief is bargaining. Wonder what the next few days will look like.

- Antiope

I thought I'd feel a little better today but I don't. Everything is colorless.

How can I express how heartbreaking it is to lose a friend who was only doing his job? He was doing what we have all been asked to do when we put on the uniform.

We assume the risk that is inherent to our lifestyle, but we rarely talk about it. Myself, I prefer not to think how my choice sometimes puts my life in danger. And now, with Theseus about to leave for a year in the sand, it's even more tempting to push this reality to the back of my mind.

I feel incredibly selfish for feeling this way, but Hunter's death is more than simply the loss of a friend - it's a reminder that it can happen happen to any of us, at any time, regardless of how safe our Army job may seem. I can't help but reevaluate the decisions that have brought me to today, nearly in my 8th year of service to the Army. What am I even doing here anymore?

- Antiope

I thought about him all day and now here I am, wordless.

He died Friday, in Afghanistan. He died.

It's difficult to hear of a Soldier's death, particularly if that Soldier is in the same career field as you (hits a little closer to home), but Hunter - I knew him, he was my friend. He is the second friend I have lost; Frost was killed in Iraq in 2008 while I was there, too. 

Why?? Why did this happen??

I reached out to some others from our circle of Army friends last night on my drive back to NJ. Everyone is in shock. How could this happen? We are all clutching each other now, apologizing for allowing time and distance to get between us as much as it has. I didn't realize how much I need them.

I don't know what else to say.

- Antiope