Since the horrifying news that three year old Katherine ‘Katie’ McCarron was killed by her mother, a few of us have been in contact with Katie’s Granddad – Mike McCarron.
Mike contacted me after viewing the WMV file of [my daughter] I uploaded to counter the idea that autism was a tragedy and that a killing like this was in any way understandable and we’ve swapped emails since then. I have to come to have an inordinate amount of respect for Mike not just for his utterly transparent love for his grand-daughter but also his lucid refusal to countenance the idea that her death can be in any way rationalised or painted as understandable, despite the mealy mouthed efforts of a few journalists and a couple of bloggers who should know better.
Mike sent me the picture of Katie a week or so ago but asked me not to blog it which was totally understandable. However, as the ‘this is justifiable’ nonsense has increased, Mike feels that its time to show people the beautiful child that we’re supposed to believe it was ‘understandable’ to kill.
Here’s a comment from Mike over on Kristina’s AutismVox blog:
I would like to say something about Katie. Some newspapers have reported that this was done to end Katieâ€™s pain; let me assure you that â€œKatie was not in painâ€. She was a beautiful, precious and happy little girl. Each day she was showered with love and returned that love with hugs, kisses and laughter. Katie loved music; she would fill in some of the words in childrenâ€™s songs as my wife would sing along with the CD that would be playing, their own version of â€œkaraokeâ€ . She liked to dance, she loved to do the â€œhooky pokyâ€. She loved being in among flowers and tall grass. She would say â€œI like grassâ€. She enjoyed the zoo and because of all of the drills and flashcards she could identify the animals. Which I thought was pretty amazing for such a young child. She was also the only little child in her non-autistic play group that could identify an octagon. My wife and son had a party for her the day they heard that from the teacher.
I’m not ashamed to state that I have cried numerous times since corresponding with Mike. In horror that something so appalling could happen to someone so young and innocent, in recognition of the most abrasive pain I could imagine when talking to Mike and in awe that he remains so lucid and how directed and purposeful his very real anger is:
But in the meantime I can assure you that no one will describe her murder as â€œunderstandableâ€ or devalue her in anyway without my personal challenge to them and the organizations they represent.
Everyone should have such a Grandpa.