Dillon Jennings 1994-2022

My beloved grandson, Dillon, died almost three weeks ago. He was only 28 years old and should have had a long and happy life ahead of him. Instead, he somehow lost his way and couldn’t find his path back. Unbeknown to anyone, he seems to have spent much of the last year of his life roaming through the forest preserve near his home, taking wonderful pictures, and writing brief poems about them. To be honest, many of those poems don’t make a lot of sense to me, yet I can see a certain beauty in them, in his choice of words and images, in his rhythms and rhymes. Many of the others, though, are quite moving. Dillon thought a lot about the nature of the universe, about time, about God.

The photos, too, are well-composed and artistic. They aren’t merely snapshots, but carefully designed images. Dillon posted all his photos and poems on Instagram, where they were apparently seen by almost nobody. Not until after he was gone.

I have spent a lot of the time since he left us downloading all of the images and poems, and I am compiling them into a book, which I will publish when it’s ready. I’ve given it a title, based on one of the poems. In a Mirror—Reflections in Pictures and Poems. It’s all we have left of Dillon now. And our memories, of course. We—his family who loved him so much—will always keep his memory alive in our hearts.