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Florida mom adds sandbox to son's gravesite

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A Florida mother added a sandbox to her baby's grave so that her toddler-aged son could have memories of his little brother who died when he was five days old.

TODAY.com reports Ashlee Hammac, of Lake City, Fla., wanted to add the sandbox so that her older son Tucker would feel more comfortable visiting the gravesite of his younger brother Ryan.

Ryan was born on Oct. 11, 2013. When he arrived, Ryan wasn't crying or breathing. Doctors told Hammac that her placenta had ruptured and they had to take Ryan quickly.

TODAY.com reports that doctors were able to get Ryan's heart to beat, but the baby was suffering from severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, a condition in which the brain does not get enough oxygen.

Five days after Ryan was born, he died.

When Hammac would bring Tucker to visit Ryan's grave, Ryan would play on top of the grave and that's when she got the sandbox idea.

"He has a sandbox at home and absolutely loves it," Hammac told TODAY.com. "I think it helps him because he doesn't get so upset talking about him when he can go out there."

Some doctors say the idea is healthy for young children who may not understand death yet.

"It's not a taboo subject in this family," said Robin F. Goodman, the executive director of A Caring Hand, The Billy Esposito Foundation in New York, which helps kids and families cope with death.

Read more about this story on TODAY.com.

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