By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

22-year sentence in crash that killed three

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A tragedy has finally seen some closure as the Valdez's family can now know that the one responsible for such a tragic loss will be fitly punished ...

Or will they?

The psychological impact of just such an incident as this leaves lasting scars and open wounds that often get picked at and never seem to heal. The sentencing of Ashley to 22 years will obviously contribute to the Valdez family grief recovery process, but it does not by any means guarantee a complete healing for all parties concerned.

Time is still needed to process such a loss and even that is no guarantee. To deal with such devastation one must have a support system in place and over time learn to identify and address the various issues that are still festering. I would recommend a Grief Recovery course through the Adult Mental Health Program. I know someone close to me that went through this program and came out of it for the better.

As for Ashley... She has 22 years to recover from the grief of this incident that she has endured all because of her own, illegal actions. The prison system does offer some programs, but not nearly enough. Ashley will need a strong connection with the outside while she is inside, as well as the love and support from her friends and family. Then and only then will she have a real chance of recovery and be able to integrate back into society in a proactive way. Otherwise, when Ashley does release (and in 22 years she will) she will be more prone to commit other grievous, illegal acts.

For Ashley's sake (and ours) I hope that she can find some measure of solace, experience forgiveness, and find peace no matter what surroundings she finds herself in. That will not be easy, for sure, but it is not impossible. Many inmates learn from their mistakes (crimes) and are determined to leave that life behind. How? By finding meaning for life and the faith to live it.

I for one will be praying for Ashley....As well as the Valdez family.

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