Last month, Cassidy Stay was the lone survivor of a multiple homicide that left her parents and four siblings dead at the hands of one gunman, the estranged ex-husband of one of her aunts. You might, hopefully, remember the story better by the outpouring of support that Cassidy received afterwards, which included an online fundraiser. Also included was an appeal to J.K. Rowling, spurred by the 15-year-old Stay’s use of a Dumbledore quote at her family’s memorial.
The quote—’Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light,’—convinced the well-meaning online community to arrange a meeting between Rowling and the young Stay. Instead, Rowling gave Cassidy something more lasting—a personal letter written in character as Dumbledore, along with a wand, an acceptance letter to Hogwarts, a list of school supplies and a signed book.
Some on the Facebook group that first reached out to Rowling still want a personal meeting to take place, but are glad they ‘were all able to make a difference.’ All that said, and the money and gifts accounted for, it might be time to set aside the campaigns and the publicity. The biggest gift Cassidy can receive now is probably time to grieve, without cameras and questions.