Interred: Pamela G. Dempsey  1954 - 2006

Note: Mother, Lawyer and Advocate for Abused Children

In her two decades as a lawyer for the Department of Social Services, Pamela Gail Dempsey was an advocate for abused and neglected children in and out of the courtroom. She often kept in touch with children after they had been placed in adoptive or foster homes, giving them gifts to celebrate their placements and help them through the transition. "She took the work to a different level," said her daughter, Janelle Dempsey of Somerville. - Boston Globe

Janelle Dempsey and her Mom, Pamela Dempsey (family photo)

Janelle Dempsey and her Mom, Pamela Dempsey (family photo)


Artist Statement

As a parent myself, it would have been unimaginable to contemplate becoming ill, having my only child drop out of college to take care of me, and then passing away before she could go back and complete her degree.

Unfortunately, this situation was all too real for Pamela Dempsey - a dedicated Mother, a consummate professional, and a fierce advocate for abused and neglected children.  

For this piece, I filmed, photographed and recorded sounds around Ms. Dempsey’s grave over a period of nineteen months; corresponded with and interviewed her now grown daughter;  perused family photo albums and read obituaries, memoranda and newspaper articles.

As I came to know Ms. Dempsey through her child’s eyes, my appreciation deepened for parents who know they must provide a lifetime of guidance in a few short years.