From page 18 (as of April 9, 2005) of the online guestbook for the Maine Army National Guards Headquarters of the 133rd Engineer Battalion, a Heavy Combat Unit:
To: My HSC friends
"Thank you for being true friends to my Baby, Chris, by being good friends to me. I don't think I've ever been or I'll ever be surrounded by so much darkness as I am now. Thank you for lighting up a candle in my heart with your caring messages. I am sure that, if my Baby can see us from his far away home, he would have a big, thankful smile on his lips; the same healing smile most of you saw on his face every day; the same smile that became "contagious"... Love and peace, Lavinia Gelineau"
It is, perhaps, one of the most tragic stories I've read in relation to the ongoing war in Iraq.
Lavinia Gelineau was the young widow of Sgt. Christopher D. Gelineau, the 100th person killed in combat, on April 20, 2004. Sergeant Gelineau died at age 23.
His wife became an outspoken opponent of the war. Her grief was palpable, and seemed unending.
From an article posted online at CBS4, New Hampshire News:
"...She stood next to widows at the graves of soldiers who had gone to Iraq to fight with her husband a young Romanian woman who lost her one true love and became the face of a grieving homeland in the aftermath.
Lavinia Gelineau attended those funerals always clutching a bright pink teddy bear her husband had given her on Valentine's Day before he deployed. She cried and could have blended in among the black-clad mourners. But her intense brown eyes hinted at the intensely personal reason for coming: Their agony was hers..."
Eighteen days shy of the one-year anniversary of Sgt. Gelineau's death, on April 2, 2005, his wife Lavinia was found dead.
"...(P)olice 'have a very good idea of what went on inside the house.' However, (Police) declined to reveal details until the state Medical Examiner’s Office determines the cause of death(...) It was her last day at work and her friends were holding a party for her. They were concerned when she did not show up, said Westbrook Police Chief Paul J. McCarthy..."
The war widow wrote poems for her fallen soldier, and others like him. At the blog fondofelves.com, the blogger posted a poem by Lavinia on July 4, 2004:
To the 133rd and all other deployed soldiers with lots of love