A Swan in Heaven
Conversations Between Two Worlds
Smashwords Electronic Edition - May 2010
One day during Danny’s 11th year on earth, I watched a documentary about the firefighters who’d battled the blaze at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Those who’d fought the fire and survived felt unbearable grief about the partners who’d fought beside them and perished. Their grief was complicated by guilt, and so deep was this grief/guilt conjunction that some of the survivors chose to have images of their fallen friends tattooed on their backs. These were much more than muddy impressions haphazardly etched onto a shoulder or a bicep. They were finely detailed, larger-than-life portraits that covered their backs from shoulder to shoulder, waist to neck. The firefighters said, “This way I will have my partner’s spirit with me every day of my life.”
Inspired by this, I wanted a tattoo representing Danny’s spirit to become a permanent part of my own body. I wanted a symbol of his soul to watch over me, perched on my shoulder like a guardian angel. But what kind of symbol could accurately represent him?