Heartbreaking Sandbox

Heartbreaking Sandbox


After Ashley Hammac's 5-day-old son, Ryan Michael Jolly, died, she wanted his big brother to be able to continue playing with him so she added a sandbox to the newborn's gravesite.


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Hammac's younger son, Ryan Michael Jolley, was born on October 11, 2013, and passed away October 16 from Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy: a condition that occurs when there is not enough oxygen getting to the brain.

Following baby Ryan's funeral, Miss Hammac decided to adorn his burial place with glass pebbles, but thinking of her son Tucker and his grieving process, she decided to come up with the kind of tribute that he could relate to as well.

Together, the mother and son embraced the idea of turning the newborn’s black-granite gravesite into a play area filled with sand.
‘He always goes out there with me, and sits out there, and sings lullabies, and talks to him just like he was there,' Miss Hammac told. 'So I wanted it to be special for him too. His favorite thing right now is trucks.’

The Florida mom said 3-year-old Tucker often asks her if he can go to 'baby Ryan's sandbox.' In the months since Ran passing, Miss Hammac and her family have launched a non-profit organization called Pages to Memories to help raise awareness of her son's condition.


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