Last week, in light of Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, I shared the recent passing of my beautiful baby sister. The response to this was overwhelming. The reasons for sharing my family’s loss are multifaceted, but at the core I believe that my undeniable compulsion to share this seemingly nonsensical, tragic and life altering experience was really a need to connect with others.
What I found more eye opening than all of the love, support and heart wrenching stories of sincere compassion I was flooded with, was the fact that my website traffic skyrocketed by 500% the day I shared my pain with all of you. Let me type that again: my website traffic skyrocketed by 500% the day I shared my pain with all of you. This made me stop and think: we, as human beings, deeply value not only connection, but vulnerability.
Merriam-Webster defines vulnerable as: “easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally, or emotionally : open to attack, harm, or damage”. Well crap, that doesn’t sound so fun, now does it? Yet, despite this highly undesirable connotation, I pose this question: why is vulnerability so powerful? Why did my most painful, raw, almost completely photography un-related post have 500% more viewings than any of my posts containing images of half-naked beautiful women? This, my friends, leads me to conclude that we, wether you like it or not, are innately philanthropic. No matter how many walls we build, masks we wear or wounds we hide, we all have an untainted source of love and support for humanity that desires expression. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, soft and open, we will see the abundance of gifts and lessons all around us.
Can it be somewhat terrifying to expose yourself? Hell yes. Was it “brave” of me to share my story, as so so many of you so very kindly said it was? I don’t know. Sharing the tragic loss of my baby sister with the whole world didn’t so much feel brave, but instead, necessary. The regretful part of me wishes I could go back and pinpoint the exact time that things went wrong for Kimy so I could have been a better big sister, held her hand tighter and pulled harder to steer her away from a life of drug addiction. However, the higher, more aware part of me knows that Kimy had her own path, her own lessons to learn, her own destiny to follow…I’m just grateful for the time we did share and for being a part of her life when she was her most happy and free.
Thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to read, share my post and most importantly, for gifting me with all of your stories, your bravery and your willingness to be vulnerable with me. Because of the immense impact she had on all of you, I know with unequivocal certainty that Kimy’s life was not in vain and for this, I infinitely thank you. xoxoxo