New York Times Portraits of Grief

Lisa Kearney-Griffin

It's crazy, she'd tell her daughter. Here she was, 35, and her best friend was 13. Flip a few cruel calendar pages back and imagine Lisa Kearney- Griffin dancing and singing in the kitchen with that daughter, Brityne, that best friend, who wants so, so badly to be a singer.

Ms. Kearney-Griffin, who also had a 1- year-old daughter, loved to dance and sing. With her piercing hazel eyes, she was "vibrant, larger than life," said her husband, Craig Griffin. "She could sell snow to Eskimos."

That glow could come in handy. When she worked at Delta Air Lines as an agent coping with travelers' preboarding problems, one passenger grew irate at a delay. No one could calm him down. Except her. She talked to him and soon they "became the best of friends," Mr. Griffin said. Until his plane left, "he refused to talk to anyone but her."

Ms. Kearney-Griffin, who worked for American Express Corporate Travel at Marsh & McLennan's office at the trade center, shared her love of travel with her husband, and they took trips all over. He did not like ships, but she got him to take a cruise to Aruba, and he loved it. It "left a lasting impression," he said, quickly adding, "Everything about her left a lasting impression."