Boy plays, sings at his brother's sandbox grave

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Ashley Hammac lost her son Ryan Michael Jolly last October. He lived just five days.

She buried Ryan at the Falling Creek Cemetery just outside Lake City. Thinking of her other son Tucker, she added a sandbox to Ryan's grave.

"Just so that Tucker could have a place to come out and still play with his brother, cause he was excited the whole time I was pregnant, about getting to be able to play with his brother and said he was going to share his trucks with him so when this happened we wanted a spot where he could be included too," Hammac said.

"I am your big brother, me," Tucker said as he leaned his head against his brother's grave.

"He likes it a lot when we come out here. Sometimes he asks to come out here without me even having to say "do you want to go?" He'll ask sometimes. It is like another park for him," Hammac said.

Hammac said the words "You are my angel, my darling, my star and my love will find you, whereever you are," are actually the words out of a book she used to read to Ryan.

Her son died from Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephlepathy, known as HIE, a result of not enough oxygen getting to the brain. She shared photos of him at the grave site on Facebook and it was shared more than 220,000 times. People magazine published a story in their latest edition.

"I wasn't even expecting to share it with the world, like I said I shared it with my family," Hammac said. "And then it blew up, I was amazed. But I am happy that it did because now I can get the word out to our charity which is Pages to Memories,"

Hammac said she hopes her story about the unique grave site will help her raise money for HIE research. She also hopes to donate books to UF health in Gainesville to support other parents who may go through what she did last October.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment