room to heal


I was asked to write something for the I Am Not Kelli Stapleton flash blog. The purpose of the flash blog is to stand together in support of the premise that disabled lives matter.

And so I wrote.

I cried as I typed.

I hated what I’d written.

I began again.

And then yet again still.

Until, one word at a time, I deleted it all.

Because it simply didn’t feel right.

Finally, after days of typing and deleting, I’ve decided that this is what, and all, I want to say.

I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I just don’t. It hurts too much.

It hurts me, it hurts you, it hurts our community and most of all, it hurts the beautiful girl in the center of it all, Issy.

Issy deserves to be able to move on in as much peace as one can after such horror.

We have a lot to talk about. We have a lot to fix. We have misconceptions and half-truths and outright lies to set straight. We have lines to draw and points to make and, undoubtedly, battles to fight for what’s right.

But above all, we have a funny, bright, joyful, life-loving teenage girl who needs, and has the right to, the space to heal.

Because while there will always be a lot left to say to each other, there’s far more to tell Issy.


That she’s going to be okay.

That she was never, ever, not for a fraction of a second, to blame for what her mother did that awful day.

That her dad is there for her.

That he adores her.

That her family loves her fiercely, tenderly, completely.

That we, out here in the ether, each in our own way, love her too.

That she is lovable – Love … ABLE.

Able to be loved and to love in return.

That she is safe.

That she is entitled to her privacy.

And dignity.

And that she will always, always be in our hearts and our prayers.


We can talk to and at and around each other all that we need to.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t.

Indeed we must.

But it’s long past time to give Issy her privacy back.

I send my love.

To Issy.

To all.



{Image is a photo of two hands holding a red tissue paper heart in the sunlight.}


8 thoughts on “room to heal

  1. I do not know the entire story as I am abroad.
    Yet I think yours is a very dignified and respectful approach.
    So I too send my love to Issy and hope that others will respect her right to privacy.

  2. Beautifully said. As this debate raged, I found myself leaving groups, walking away from so-called support. Because my boys deserve privacy, respect and love. Thank you for putting so perfectly what was on my mind.

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