Death is hard enough, but for some reason the death of babies always gets to me the most. When I read about this, I thought what this mom did was beautiful and I wanted to share it with you.
From Today Moms:
A grieving mom’s thoughtful gesture for her toddler is prompting tears and an outpouring of support from parents who have lost a child.
Ashlee Hammac, who lives in Lake City, Fla., decided to add a sandbox to the grave site of her baby boy so that her older son, Tucker, would be more comfortable visiting the resting place.
“I wanted him to have a happy memory with his brother and not the memory of his mama crying for days,” Hammac, 24, told TODAY Moms.
“Since we’ve had that out there, he’ll actually ask sometimes to go and play with baby Ryan… He calls that baby Ryan’s house.”
Ryan was born last October, one day after Hammac’s birthday.
When he arrived, Ryan didn’t cry and he wasn’t breathing. Doctors told Hammac her placenta had ruptured and a team of nurses whisked the baby away before she got a chance to see what he looked like.
Courtesy Ashlee Hammac
Doctors finally got Ryan’s heart to beat, but the little boy was suffering from severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a condition in which the brain does not receive enough oxygen. Ryan had no brain activity recorded at any time after he was born, Hammac said. He died five days later.
Hammac, who is a single mom, has been visiting Ryan’s grave every day, bringing 3-year-old Tucker along on days when there was no one else to watch him. She noticed the boy would often want to play on top of the grave and that’s when she got the idea to add the unusual feature.
“He has a sandbox at home and absolutely loves it,” Hammac said. “I think it helps him because he doesn’t get so upset talking about him when he can go out there.”
She posted a photo of Tucker visiting Ryan’s resting place on her Facebook page to show her family. Her mom then allowed a support group to post the picture and the response was overwhelming. Almost 50,000 people have shared the photo on Facebook and 175,000 have liked it.
Hammac had mixed emotions at first about the image becoming so public, but after getting lots of support for her decision and her charity, which raises awareness of HIE, the photo “has felt like a blessing,” she said.
To read the full article click here.
I think this is a wonderful example of creating something beautiful from your grief and I wish Ashlee and her family all the best.