As I waited to shoot a photo at a local grade school, I talked with a few teachers and kids. One of the teachers had a small container on her necklace, so I asked her what was in it.
“My grandson,” she answered.
I felt immediate and powerful sympathy for her, since I have a grandson. She told me his name was Jack, he was 6, and was killed by a drunk driver earlier this year. The urn around her neck contained some of his ashes.
I explained that I wasn’t the kind of journalist who liked to pry into those dark places, but that when she was ready, my newspaper could tell her story fairly and kindly. She let me photograph her holding the urn on her necklace with a photograph of Jack, who is, of course, beautiful and completely innocent, just like our grandson.
I can’t image what it must be like.