Dear Richard,

Dear Richard,

Dear Richard,

Despite the truth that you have stolen something precious from ALL of us, I grieve for YOU.

Though I have been wronged many times in my life, and never chosen murder, still–I ache for you.

You must have lost your mind and your heart and your soul to proceed the way you did.

No doubt “the issues” that provoked you triggered some unhealed trauma inside of you.

Your vision must have narrowed so tightly around an “enemy” that you did not see Michael’s new wife Jennifer, or the rest of his family, or the rest of his days.

But what about your co-workers? What about Ian who spoke with you just before you entered Michael’s office? 

What of Diane who found you out back behind the Co-op after the shooting?

What about all your fellow staff members present that morning?

What about all of us who have ever worked at the Co-op, or shopped there?

Did you want to rob us all as well?

Did you know that your act would be felt as far away as Thailand, and in every co-op around the country?

Did you know that you would steal sleep from strangers, summer vacation days from children,
romantic getaways from couples?

Did you want blood spilled in the place that has fed so many so well?

As I read the expressions of support on the Co-op’s Facebook page, I am stunned by how many people have been affected by your choice. I don’t think any of us, including you, could have imagined it so.

Because I don’t know Michael, it is  you for whom I grieve when I see you in the courtroom, locked in shackles, instead of on the tennis court at South Pond with a racket in your hand.

And what about Meg?

You must have considered your beloved.

Michael Martin lost his life, but you lost… everything.

You have given it up to rage.

You have given up your wife, your community, your sense of who you are and who you can be.

My eleven year old now knows a murderer. He has collected the balls that you have hit into the water where he swims.

Last night as I tucked him into bed, 300 miles away from you, he said,

“Mom, Vermont doesn’t have the death penalty, right?”


Kelly Salasin, August 11, 2011

whose sons have been lifelong Co-op members

This is the second post on the Brattleboro Food Co-op tragedy, click here for others.