updated 06/16/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/16/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Certainly the image of a grieving Jackie standing with her children remains frozen in an awful moment that separates an American past that was too romanticized from a present that is too brutal. But three decades later, Jackie stood for so much more. We were not ready to give up our glimpses of her—elegant, impenetrable, but somehow more approachable as she aged—when she ventured out into the social whirl or onto a merry-go-round with her grandchildren. We were not ready to have that already poignant threesome—the Kennedy tableau of Jacqueline, Caroline and John Jr.—reduced now to two survivors going arm-in-arm into the future. And above all, we were not ready to let her leave without having our questions answered. Quite simply, how did she do it? How did the most famous woman in the world so gracefully endure the fickle winds of American affection? And what, behind those dark glasses and that mysterious smile, was she really thinking?