Someone Once Told Me

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906This is Emilie Stammers, who contacted me through Twitter to say she liked SOTM and wanted to have her picture taken. We met in Camden, had a coffee and then went round the corner to take her shot by Camden Lock. Sadly, about three weeks after this picture was taken, Emilie took her own life.

I was contacted by her friend Dave who informed me both of this tragic act, and of how Emilie was “very excited” at the thought of appearing on the site. He therefore urged me to use the photo, which comes with a video clip of Emilie explaining the story behind her SOTM.

So I contacted Emilie’s father Robin, to check he was comfortable with the material being used - he told his daughter her SOTM message during an argument. He gave his consent, and went on to explain a few things. He wrote: “The conversation we had was rather more subtly nuanced than me just saying 'You're Directionless'.

"As I remember it, the 'argument' was about the amount of time she spent in her spare room online with friends, rather than going out and doing something. I think I was comparing her generation to mine and their lack of direction as I perceived it. It was therefore a rather more general criticism, which I was not just applying to her.

"I was also dismayed that she choose one of the handful of negative comments I had ever made to her, in preference to the thousands of positive remarks; about how intelligent she was, how well she dressed, what a nice person she was, and how much I loved her.

"Our relationship, with the exception of a few mildly difficult teenage years was good and we enjoyed each other's company. I was therefore wary about agreeing to a tribute that does not in my opinion reflect either her life or death.

"However, on balance I think I should respect the fact that Emilie wanted it to appear, as her death was unpremeditated and she left no other wishes. Thank you for treating the matter so sensitively; it is very much appreciated.”

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"Someone once told me: "The last thing you learn about yourself is the effect you have on other people." Emilie: Your story will stay with me, reminding me to try to always be kind, caring and suppor"

Annalie Killian

"Reading this as a parent of 2 teenage daughters, and the things one sometimes say to provoke a reaction, but always motivated from deep concern for the welfare and future of your child, ....I shudder."


"i still cant belive it emilie even reading this makes me almost cry but you know me im to macho haha ill never forget you and thank you to the owner of this site for this "


"Hearing your voice again is comforting. I miss you so much Emilie."


"What a powerful statement. I'm going to miss you loads, Emilie. I will always remember our love for dry humour and your love for cupcakes and colourful tights :) Love you xx"


"This is powerful."


"I remember Em telling me about the argument, she named her blog 'Directionless', too. I still can't believe she's gone. I'm gonna miss her always "


"RIP Emilie :( xo"


"Thanks for this Mario I know she would really apreciate it."


"Before reading the text, my first impression of the photo, and the message itself, was very clear: Wow, how many times have I heard people tell me that?. Then I read what you wrote and I connected"

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