Our friend's death earlier this week has hit hard. I have been in a slump all week.
I think it hits harder because I also have a soldier in my life. And I never truly think about what life would be like without him. He travels a lot, and he has been to war. But all the times he's gone, I really never let myself think about the "what-ifs". We have all our paperwork in order, like any other family would, and we've talked before about what one should do if something happened to the other. I'm sure all couples do that, especially if there are children involved.
But I never really let it in - that something could happen. I'm sure my friend didn't really, either. Her soldier had already been deployed several times before this. I'm sure that, while still being totally crappy, this deployment was "old hat". She is an excellent mother, and on top of the family's dynamic. She is the epitome of a military wife - independent, strong and in-control. You watch your soldier leave, and while you miss them terribly and worry about their safety, you go on with the "normal" part of your life, counting the days until he returns home.
This week's events have made me wake up, out of the fog, and feel the reality. What it feels like to have someone you know die at war.
Wednesday, more than 24 hours later, I was still crying from the news. I laid in my bed Wednesday afternoon, sobbing. It hit harder than any death I've heard about in many years.
There are many reasons for my sadness. He was too young, he was such a cool guy, a great dad, someone fun to hang out with. He was a great soldier with many years left to lead. But I really think that the reason I was so upset was the shock of it all.
All I can think, admittedly selfishly, is that I know that her experience is one that I could be exposed to at anytime. Receiving that knock on the door, as a man in uniform comes to tell you the worst news you could ever want to hear.
As I mentioned in a previous post, he is the first fallen soldier that I have actually had human interaction with. And not just interaction, but friendship.
It sucks. And though I have gotten the sobbing under control, the sadness lingers on. And it will for some time.
I guess I just needed to talk about it. Thanks for listening.