It’s been more than three months since Cpl. James Hayward Arnal became the 88th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan. But as reporter Selena Hinds, photojournalist Joe Bryksa, and multimedia editor Tyler Walsh discovered, the life and death of the Winnipeg solider continues to reverberate, leaving both pain as well as promise in its wake.

No Greater loss

She runs her fingers over the engraving of her late son’s name – James Hayward Arnal.

Saying nothing, Wendy Hayward–Miskiewicz edges closer to the newly placed headstone. Tears well in her eyes.

"He was my best friend. And someday I’ll see him again…someday," she says.

Warm sunlight beams down on the quiet cemetery – so quiet you can hear the leaves tumbling on the grass and the cackle of geese flying above.

The headstone next to James’ reads: Keith Ian Morley. PPCLI. Sept. 23, 1975 to Sept. 18, 2006. Age 30.

"They are going to be right beside each other. Two fallen soldiers. That brings me comfort," she says. "He will be with one of his buddies."

Hayward–Miskiewicz takes a few steps back and stares longingly at the spot where – on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008 – she will lay her son, the 88th of 98 Canadian soldiers to die in Afghanistan, to rest forever.

James’ family chose to postpone his interment until his fellow soldiers, who came back to Canada in waves this fall, were home.

Winnipeg Free PressONLINE | 08/11/2008 2:50 AM