New York Times Portraits of Grief

Daniel Afflitto

Daniel Afflitto loved to show off his large new house in Manalpan, N.J. There was the tree-trimming party, the barbecues, and over Labor Day weekend, a luau, complete with pina coladas and a hula dancer. "His was the place where everyone went, to take a swim, watch a game, and hang out on the patio," said his father, Joseph T. Afflitto.

But Mr. Afflitto, 32, was also a hard worker, often putting in 12-hour days at Cantor Fitzgerald, which made him a partner in 1999. On Sept. 10, Mr. Afflitto and his wife, Stacey, flew home from Santa Barbara, Calif., after a friend's wedding. His wife had wanted to extend their trip, but "Danny hated taking days off," she said. On the plane, Mr. Afflitto guessed that she was pregnant with their second child, but the home pregnancy test she took that night turned out negative. On Sept. 12, however, Mrs. Afflitto found out that her husband was right.

"God is giving me something," she said, "because he took something away."