On the Unexpected Beauty of Social Media

This week is a hard week in the life of V, as many of you know. I lost my favorite uncle over the weekend after a two-year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). I was very close to my uncle; he taught me so much about my family’s Greek roots, shared our family crest—which had never before been revealed to me—and even showed me our patriarchal properties in the beautiful Peloponnese. We went to fundraisers and dinners together, and whenever he needed information, I was his Internet go-to girl. To say I will miss him is an understatement. It is a palpable loss on so many levels.

Naturally, because of this turn of events, my mind and heart are not on fashion blogging this week. But I have learned over these years of blogging that unexplained silence is bewildering, and even worrisome for dedicated readers. So I sent out a tweet and put a post on the G&G Facebook page to explain why I may be quiet this week.Facebook screen capture

As a blogger, I’ve made a conscious decision to keep my personal life as private as possible. I share my thoughts on fashion and blogging, but not much about my life, relationships, etc. And yet here I am blogging about something very personal. Why? Well, because of…

YOU: Reader. Commenter. Supporter. Friend.

As soon as I sent out that tweet, so many of you reached out, sending me direct messages and tweets of support and sympathy. I was floored. And touched. And honored that you would take the time to write me words of encouragement.

I want you to know how grateful I am for your messages and friendship. Because I do not share my personal life on the blog, you haven’t known about the betrayal I’ve experienced at the hands of very, very, close family members, about the discovery of deception in even the most holy of places. For a Greek girl from a tight-knit family, this is not only a shock to my core beliefs, it’s a chokingly difficult pill to swallow. Now, I do not divulge these things for sympathy, but only to tell you this:

I have learned that “family” isn’t defined by DNA, it’s defined by love.

When I posted messages on both G&G and my personal Facebook pages, the outpouring of support by all of you was incredible. And it also made me hyperaware that on top of the drama already playing out in my “family,” virtually none of my actual blood relatives bothered to respond. I was always taught that you stick by your family no matter what—and I have, only to learn that loyalty is not always reciprocal.

This is what I know for sure: what I’ve lost this last year at the hands of my “family,” I have gained in you—a loving family of readers and friends. A network of support, kindness, and compassion. That is family.

Fans and Followers: A Modern Family

When I started blogging, I never, ever expected, well…this. I suppose I thought it would always be me in a room with my thoughts. It took me a good three years to learn that I’d get a lot more out of all of it if I actually interacted with others. And once I did, the conversations and contributors grew and grew, first on the blog, then on Twitter, and eventually on Facebook. We’ve chatted about fashion and shoes and blogging and such, and I know I’ve written words of encouragement to others, but it wasn’t until this week that I felt the full impact of social media on a personal level.

Social media—blogs/Twitter/Facebook—is a new paradigm of belonging, a new way for us to cultivate friendships and interact with others. Sure, most of us have never met, but this community, this connectedness is no less poignant or powerful. We stick together, you and me. We do what we can for one another, even from afar. And you’ve not only been there for me, but Casee Marie, Steph, Suze, and Yvonne.

Our fans and followers in social media aren’t just numbers—they are real people and an invaluable source of inspiration, encouragement, networking, and friendship. That’s why interacting with others (and not just amassing comments and followers) is so important. Give and you will receive. When you least expect it and most likely need it.

Yes, we are fashion bloggers. Yes, we try to keep it light and positive. But when life has given some of us lemons, we all helped make the lemonade, toasted with a resounding, “Here, here!” then turned our glasses up.

That my friends, is the unexpected beauty of social media. Know that when I say my final goodbye to my beloved uncle today, I carry your words of comfort in my heart.

♥ V

 

Thanks to all of you for your kind messages…


Gawgusthings

@gritandglamour Oh no, I’ve just read your message -so sorry. Alfred and I are sending lots of hugs your way…xx

Michsi
_Michsi_

My prayers are with you and your family!

the Citizen Rosebud
citizenrosebudz

xo to you, dear V. I am sorry for your loss. -Bella


jezebel538
Vahni, Im so sorry to hear about your loss. Big cyber space hugs coming your way. xxx


intheircloset
Vahni, my deepest condolences. The sad truth? I have lost an uncle this weekend as well. I really feel with you. Life is bitter sometimes.


heatherfonseca

Sorry Vahni. It’s no fun losing a beloved relative. Sending love your way.


starcrossedsmil

So terribly sorry to hear about your uncle. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


made2travel

Oh my gawsh, so sad. So sorry for your loss, V. Reminds me to value the people in my life. Bests to you and your family.

365fashionrehab
365fashionrehab 365fashionrehab
@gritandglamour We are truly sorry and our thoughts are with you. Love, A&P
Pretty Shiny Sparkly
PrttyShnySprkly Pretty Shiny Sparkly
@gritandglamour my thoughts and prayers are with you darling. xoxo
Anika Campbell
AnikaByAnika Anika Campbell
@gritandglamour I love you. Anything you need, I am here, we are here for you Vahni. xxxxxx
Sarah Ashley
Quirky_Martini Sarah Ashley
@gritandglamour so sorry to hear about your loss, darling… xx
Kirstin Foley
kirstinfoley Kirstin Foley
@gritandglamour Aw honey, I’m so sorry! Loves to you and your family!!
THE-LOUDMOUTH
THELOUDERMOUTH THE-LOUDMOUTH
@gritandglamour we love you V!
Casee Marie
caseemarie Casee Marie
@gritandglamour I’m so sorry for your loss, Vahni. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and sending you lots of hugs. x
Erika
@gritandglamour you and your family are in my thoughts + prayers. Sending you peaceand comfort. <3
Cameron Miquelon
CameronMiquelon Cameron Miquelon
@gritandglamour No worries madame. My condolences.
Noemi ♥
wegottogoback Noemi ♥
@gritandglamour We understand and so sorry for your loss
Ambu
ambuji Ambu
@gritandglamour All my prayers and love for you.
 Madison
Ladyofashion Madison
@gritandglamour Sending love & prayers your way dear! -xo
Lola Rocks Clothing
lolarocksme Lola Rocks Clothing
@gritandglamour I’m so sorry V, my thoughts are with you and your family
Charee Leneé Hall
chareelenee Charee Leneé Hall
@gritandglamour Awwww, so so sorry. Thinking about you and sending your family my prayers.
Elle
@gritandglamour hugs and warm wishes your way. <3
Mattie James
Mattieologie Mattie James
@gritandglamour You & your family are in my prayers, V. Lifting you up, lady.
Brooke Jones
brookemeagan Brooke Jones
@gritandglamour Thinking of you Vahni. So sorry to hear this. Sending warm hugs and thoughts to you and your family from Canada. xoxo
Lee Oliveira
leeoliveira82 Lee Oliveira
@gritandglamour thinking of u today V. lots of love from down under! 
Lynzy
@gritandglamour sending much love and prayers your way V!
kristy eléna
kristyelena kristy eléna
@gritandglamour i am so sorry to hear that sweetheart. sending you so much love. =(
Anika Campbell
AnikaByAnika Anika Campbell
@gritandglamour you and your family are in my prayers and thoughts. Sending you all of my love. <3
Tony Wang
thetonywang Tony Wang
@gritandglamour My condolences to you! Wish we could somehow make things better, and we’re all here for you. Our thoughts go to you.
SHE
@gritandglamour So sorry to hear about your loss. Praying for you and the family <3
Carolann DeMatos
cadematos Carolann DeMatos
Ditto. :( RT @ModanistaJunkie @gritandglamour Oh No. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts & prayers are with you & your family.
Franca
@gritandglamour I’m sorry for your loss. Sending good vibes your way!
Mel
@gritandglamour Oh No. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts & prayers are with you & your family.
Asteria Latief
asterialatief Asteria Latief
@gritandglamour my deepest condolences goes out to you and your family V
GorgeousInGrey.com
GorgeousInGrey GorgeousInGrey.com
@gritandglamour OH NO! We love you & please know your in our prayers!
Fabienne Jach
flyingfabu Fabienne Jach
@gritandglamour You and your family are in my thoughts. I’m sorry for your loss, xo.
Eboni Ife'
FashionNextDoor Eboni Ife’
@gritandglamour oh my. I am so sorry, V. You and your family are in my heart and prayers. *hugs*
Fashnlvr
Fashnlvr9 Fashnlvr
@gritandglamour My condolences and symathies to you. I will have you and your family in my prayers.
Rocquelle P.
ConsiderMeLuvly Rocquelle P.
@gritandglamour I am sorry for your lost V…your family will be in my thoughts and prayers
Antoine Janowski
stilettostetico Antoine Janowski
@gritandglamour Please accept my deepest sympathy Dear V (“sincerely warm supporting wink”)
Eva Domijan
EvaDomijan Eva Domijan
@gritandglamour I’m sorry, Vahni. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Suze
@gritandglamour Oh V, I am so sorry :(

Comments

  1. says

    Reading your post just now, gave me goosebumps, raised my arm hairs, and gave me a lump in the back of my throat. Its amazing how supportive the blogging community can be, especially compared to actual members of your own family. We are all each others extend family, here to lend support, advice and kindness. Im happy to be a part of such a wonderful community and that it helped you in this hard time.
    ps and to all the people out there that say bloggers are just a bunch of self motivated publicity seekers that just want to pat each other on the back, I say have a look at this. xx
    Jessica’s latest post: Vintage Celebrity WeddingsMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you Jessica…and I agree…for those who think we’re shallow, come have a look at the kindness at the bottom of this post. You are all just so amazing.

  2. says

    So sorry for your loss V. No matter where I am or where I will be, you will be always in my heart.
    Meeting you this year made truly believe that social network isn’t just about numbers of followers or how many comments you have per post. It’s about the connection, respect and love from each other.
    I pray for your beloved uncle and wishing him the most peaceful place to rest.
    Stay strong my friend!
    Lots and lots of love to you and your family.
    Your biggest friend and fan,
    Lee Oliveira
    Lee Oliveira’s latest post: A collar extravaganza…NYCMy Profile

    • says

      Aw, Lee, you always make me smile. I know you are genuine and so very sweet having met you in person. Thank you so much and know I am also YOUR friend and biggest fan. xoxo

  3. says

    Thinking of you during this difficult time… I’ve followed your blog for a while now, from a “distance” you could say since I don’t normally comment but I felt to reach out to you during this deeply personal post. Thanks for sharing and you have many, many virtual blogger friends who support you.

    Keep shining.
    X
    Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl’s latest post: Dutch Lunching CultureMy Profile

    • says

      Jeanelle, thank you for your comment and kind words. So nice of you to leave me a little note during your visit…means even more to me given that you don’t usually “reveal” yourself.

  4. says

    V, I have to admit, your outpouring almost brought me to tears (and I am not much of a crier). When I first started blogging, I thought it was just fashion, pictures, and comments, but you and so many others have showed me that this is a community! I am very glad that I and many other bloggers’ words of encouragement can be of comfort for you during this time. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers.
    Rocquelle Is Lovely {@ConsiderMeLuvly}’s latest post: Creativity &amp New FriendsMy Profile

  5. says

    My precious Vahni, I have tears in my eyes and a deep emotion in my heart. I couldn´t agree more with you: “family” isn’t defined by DNA, it’s defined by love.
    I hug you tight, and love you!!!
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    SACRAMENTO’s latest post: Blog 1st BirthdayMy Profile

  6. says

    When I heard of your loss, I felt it as well by recalling the loss of my parents and my heart went out to you. Losing a very close family member is heartwrenching, I know.
    You are so right about this community of friends. My ‘best’ group of friends is my twitter circle. A few I have met face to face, but most are an online presence that holds my virtual hand or shares a laugh and a smile across the internet.
    You internet friends have encouraged me, inspired me, consoled me and given me hope and added confidence.
    It is amazing > this community of big-hearted, like-minded individuals who share a passion not only for fashion but for uplifting one another.
    V – hang in there girl. It doesn’t get better and will never be the same but it will get a teensy bit easier each day…
    Fashnlvr’s latest post: Bloggers Do It Better- Make Mine ColorBlocked PleaseMy Profile

  7. says

    V, only you could manage to take a difficult moment in your life and turn it into something positive regarding social media.

    I shared my condolences via Facebook, but will repeat it here again. I am so sorry for your loss, and have been keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers every day since I learned of your Uncle’s passing and will continue to do so.

    I agree with your sentiments on the internet and the friends we make wholeheartedly – I think I am a bit more open about my personal life than you may be, but I tend to just offer hints of what may be going on. Even so, there have been more than a few moments where a kind word from the circle of friends I have developed here, including you, have made all the difference. This community is about so much more than fashion and blogging – its about relationships.

    Please know you are in our thoughts, and take as much time as you need! We’ll be here when you get back. *hugs*
    Beautifully Invisible’s latest post: LINK LOVE with a TWIST- April 18- 2011My Profile

    • says

      B, you have been so generous with your thoughts, prayers, and love at this time. I am so thankful and I consider myself blessed to have blog friends like you in my life.

      Thank you for you ongoing support and the amazing comment. You are a dear and I adore you.

  8. says

    Hi V,
    I hope you and your family are ok. I know it is tough to lose a person who means the world or care about deeply, but know that you are not alone and it’s ok to vent because many of us can relate. It saddens me that you are hurting, but know that everyone around you including your blogger friends are here for you. We are your blogger family and if you need anything please don’t hesitate to ask.
    Celebrate the life and great memories you shared with your uncle, and let it out. Sometimes crying makes me feel better.

    I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    xoxo,
    melrod
    modanista junkie’s latest post: Mel Made- Split RomperMy Profile

    • says

      Melrod, thank you so very much for your comment and for sharing this post. I agree that celebration of life in death is a good thing, and one of the only ways we can cope with loss. Of course, having so many people…like you…reaching out to me helps too. I truly appreciate it.

  9. says

    Dearest V,
    This is a beautiful post. True connectedness is what matters and I am so happy to know you, through blogging. I’m so sorry for your lost & I am wishing you love & light during this time even in the darkest hour.. Prayers & blessings to you sweetie!
    -xxoo
    Madison’s latest post: Vanity Vintage Vol 02My Profile

    • says

      Aw, thank you Madison. I am so moved by all the prayers that have been whispered on behalf of my family and me, including yours. I am humbled and deeply honored.

  10. says

    When my father passed away suddenly in October of 2009, I didn’t want to say anything to anyone. But a couple of my social media friends let others know, and the support came pouring in. I posted on FB and Twitter once and was floored by the show of kindness and love that came my way. Not only was it a comfort to me, but a comfort to my step-mom and sisters. They knew that when I had to go back to Austin (they are in San Antonio) I would be surrounded by love both in real life and online. My deepest sympathies on the loss of your uncle. I’m so happy that your online family could offer you so much love in your time of need.

    • says

      Cathy, thank you for sharing your experience with me, and for your kind thoughts. I truly appreciate them and understand well the conflicted feeling of wanting to shrink away. I do believe, however, that it is far better to share, because there is no need for any of us to carry sorrow or burdens alone. Sticking together is what we are meant to do…and we need more of it in this age of disconnection.

  11. says

    V,
    I feel so horrible for you:( I know that loss….and it stings:(
    I couldn’t agree with this entire post more…..we each have our own definition of “family”…..and its not always found around the dinner table.
    Ill keep you and yours close to my heart…..hang in there hunnie……

    • says

      Thank you Collette, I appreciate your comment and support. No, family is certainly not always found around the dinner table, that is true.

      xo

  12. says

    V, I had absolutely no idea.. never saw your tweet/facebook! and was wondering why you had disappeared for a few days. So sorry to hear of your loss; will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers!

    XO
    Marissa

  13. says

    I’m so, so sorry for your loss, V. I keep my blog clear of the personal bits but in one post I made a brief mention of how losing my father left me feeling forever irreperable and the responses were so loving. It’s rare to experience so much kindness from strangers in the day-to-day “real world”, which saddens me.
    I once called you “the Fairy Godmother of the blogosphere”, you’re so much more than that. The fact that you mean so much to virtual strangers says a lot oabout the beauty of your soul.
    Liv’s latest post: Color Block Party!My Profile

  14. says

    I never intended for any of my personal life to creep into my blog, but it does and its always surprising how supportive people I don’t even “know” can be. I’m so sorry for your loss but glad you’ve had an outpouring of love and support you certainly need right now.
    Katie’s latest post: SkinCareRX GiveawayMy Profile

  15. says

    Dear V,

    This is my first or second time stopping by your blog and I must say that this post thoroughly moved me. But firstly, I’m so sorry to hear about what had happened. It’s really saddening to hear of such news, especially when the person who has left, is one who is/was very dear to you. Much heartfelt condolences.

    Being a blogger has taught me many things as well, and while we’re always wanting to only share the positivity and love in life, when life gets hard on us, we try to not let it out (especially through one’s blog). But it is amazing (in the end, after sharing), the support and love one reaps from one’s readers – I echo all that you’ve said so beautifully. When the day gets hard, it’s always nice and comforting to retreat to the blog it’s always exciting and uplifting to read comments from your readers. I mean, who doesn’t appreciate and does a little happy jump when they receive lovely comments from wonderful readers. This blogging world is definitely a strong virtual support to each blogger. And I’m more than glad to know that you found the support you needed from here.

    Take good care, and don’t be too hard on yourself. The sun always shines after the rain. x

    • says

      Sarah, welcome—thank you so very much for commenting, and for your thoughtful response. I’m glad you commented so I could find you as well…so many of my readers make the rounds on other blogs, and we help each other to discover other awesome bloggers.

      Come back soon, doll.

  16. says

    V, this post was truly touching and so very true. We as bloggers are all so fortunate to have found a “virtual” family to support us when life presents us with pain and challenges. I am truly sorry for your loss and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers through this difficult time. Lots of love xoxo

  17. says

    Dearest V,

    I can totally understand the mess of a family, but know that your blogging “family” is always here for you! I seriously am overwhelmed by all the love you’re receiving from all over the social media world and blogosphere. Meeting you this year was one of my fondest memories! And you must know that if you were to ever need ANYTHING – I’m here on stand by.

    I hope and pray that you are able to find peace in your uncle’s passing and that he rests somewhere in peace as well.

    Love you, V!
    XO,
    Erika
    Erika’s latest post: Bloggers Do It Better- Color BlockingMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you so very much for your touching comment, princess. Truly, deeply affected and appreciated. How lucky that we’ve been able to meet up in person more than once!

      Love you too!

      xoxo

  18. says

    Vahni, my darling Vahni. I am in tears reading your post, I feel so very moved. Thank you for sharing with us, thank you for allowing us to show our enormous love and support and care for you. We are your family, you are my Greek sister via the wonders of the net. I am saying prayers for your uncle, you and your family every day. I flew today, and thought of him intensely, being closer to heaven. I hope you don`t mind. I am sorry to hear that not all of your relatives have come through for you. I am grateful that you allow us to see YOU, not just the fashionista or the blogwiz, but beautiful, voulnerable, strong, graceful you. I love you. Anything you need from me is a click away, just let me know. Yours, Anika xxxxx
    Anika’s latest post: Show me what youre working with!My Profile

    • says

      Anika, your comments are such a luxury, I have no idea where I’d be without them. I can feel the love 10,000 miles away. Thank you so very much for being so generous with your kindness and love. I am honored, lucky, and so very grateful. Love you right back, darling, I absolutely do.

  19. says

    I haven’t been on twitter lately due to work so missed all this. Very sorry to hear about your loss and my sympathies to you and your family. Hope amongst the sadness and process of grieving for him you can also find comfort in the memories of your uncle. xxx
    Veshoevius’s latest post: FFB- Finance- Feminism and FashionMy Profile

  20. says

    V,

    I am so sorry!! I didn’t hear about it (somehow) until days later, I think. I have been praying for you and your family.

    You are so right that there is a family among all of us. And you have so beautifully and eloquently put it into words in your post. It almost had me tearing up!! I am so glad you feel the sincere love and concern. I have felt it too, at times when I have chosen to share more personal things. It’s a pretty amazing thing to *know* that when you speak from your heart “around here” you *will* be supported, isn’t it?

    Much love to you,
    Krys
    Krystle’s latest post: Spring!!!My Profile

    • says

      Krystle, thank you kindly for the lovely comment. It IS amazing to know there is a network of people out there who actually DO love and support you!

      Much love right back to you…

  21. says

    Oh V! Tears…You are such a beautiful person. Your support of other bloggers is second to none and the amount of support you are receiving is directly related to your generous, kind and giving presence in all of our lives. I am so touched you would share this with us and I am moved that despite your grief you can make these really extraordinary remarks.

    Again, I am so sorry for your loss. I know it can be hard especially when not all family is loving and generous with their words. But my mom told me re: our own very checkered family “you can’t make a rock bleed,” you can’t make someone be or do something they’re just not and we as people just have to not let that effect us and just recognize and value of the good in people and be our most selves.

    You are so good Miss V, take as much time as you need and my thoughts are with you and your family.

    • says

      Jamillah, darling, thank you for that lovely, lovely comment. You honor and console me, and I am touched by your words as well.

      Love this: “you can’t make a rock bleed.” No, you can’t. Thank you for sharing that. I’m going to think about that every time I start to feel anger or anguish. So true.

      xo

  22. says

    I am so sorry for your loss. :( It is never easy to handle losing somebody so close to you and so important in your life.

    In December, I lost my grandfather. He was the treasure of my heart and one of my favorite people in the world. I sat in the hospital next to him and watched him pass. I sent several notices on my blog, alerting people as to why I was not posting regularly. The outpouring of support was incredible. I never expected anything like it. My blogger friends gave me more support and kinder messages than people I know personally.

    I understand what you mean when you say that you don’t have to be genetically related in order to be family or have to know somebody in person to be considered a friend. My blogger friends are my best friends. I love each and every one of them.

    <333

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88
    Bonnie’s latest post: I have such an awesome life No- reallyMy Profile

    • says

      Bonnie, thank you for your kind comment, and for sharing your own story of loss. I am also so sorry to hear that you lost someone you loved so much, but am lifted up knowing that you also were touched by an outpouring of support in the blogosphere. It’s something else, isn’t it?

      Thanks again, dear. I know what you mean about loving your blogger friends. I do too.

  23. says

    Oh, V! I’m so sorry for your loss and all that you must be going through right now. I obviously missed your tweet or I would have sent my condolences earlier. I wish there was more I could say, but I know time is the only thing that will make it easier. I’m glad you’re finding some solace is this little community of ours. I know we will all be thinking of you and sending you our love.

  24. says

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you find strength and support in the community around you – as you say, your virtual friends. Sending my thoughts of comfort.

    Hug from Madeline

  25. says

    OH V, I’m so very sorry about your loss! I have been taking care of my little boy who has had a cold, so I have been a little out of commission myself, but I just checked blogs today and saw this post.

    You are right about this great blogging community and your friends and readers in the blogosphere creating an extended family. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers and you should take time to care for yourself and your needs. I did the same when my father died 8 years ago.

    xoxo
    Cyrillynn
    Cyrillynn’s latest post: Remix Update- Outfits 23-28My Profile

  26. says

    Oh, V. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, we really do love you honey and we really do feel your loss. I have met some of my closest friends (and my husband) through social media so I know all too well the strength of the bonds we make via our social networks. You truly are my friend! I only hope to one day meet you in person and give you a big hug! But even if we never meet, I will still consider you to be a friend. Even without being overly personal on your blog, I still feel like I know you, and it doesn’t take a 300 page biography to know that you are a GREAT person with a GREAT heart.

    You and your family are in my prayers during this difficult time. Hang in there, V.
    Eboni Ife”s latest post: Bloggers Do It Better- Color BlockingMy Profile

    • says

      Aw, thank you so much, Eboni. I plan on collecting that hug one day, too. Whenever I see your name, I think of your gorgeous smile and it makes me smile too. I appreciate your kindness and support, I really do.

  27. says

    I can definitely relate to this post. The outpouring of support from the blogging community when one experiences tragedy is overwhelmingly great. I experienced this similar reaction when writing about my brother, here: http://prettyshinysparkly.com/the-year-without-my-brother/

    Indeed, I still get comments on it every now and then, and just last week I got an email from The Pioneer Woman (of thepioneerwoman.com & @thepioneerwoman) who was in tears after reading that very same post. We can all touch one another so deeply, with words.

    Though I would never wish tragedy on anyone, it is comforting to know that in our little digital community we take care of our own.

    xoxo, K
    Kristina’s latest post: Bloggers Do It Better- Color BlockingMy Profile

    • says

      Kristina, I know you of all people can relate to this. I was incredibly moved by your post when you published it as well. Words are incredibly powerful, and you have such a command of them. That’s one of the reasons I love your blog…your personality shines through on every level. You are creative, welcoming, and real.

      Thanks again xo

  28. says

    V,
    I am deeply sadden to hear about your loss. It is never easy to deal with a death of a loved one,especially someone so close to your heart. You and your family are in my prayers. Yet the beautiful side of this situation is for every one person you have connected with they have given you love back and are supporting you through this time. Wishing you and your family the best.

    -xo
    Bobbie

  29. says

    This post is beautiful and brings a tear to my eye because I totally agree. I never expected to find so many kind people through blogging and it is so amazing to have so much support, whether it’s with blogging or something personal. My heart and prayers remain with you….
    Lynzy’s latest post: PinkberryMy Profile

  30. says

    I’m so moved that I really can’t quite figure out how to make my words work (for once in my life I might be speechless?) but I know there are times when it comes to be less about how one uses their words and more about what those words mean. Sorrow, compassion and support are more powerful than the letters that make them up.

    I think when I started The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower I felt the same way; that it would just be me and my thoughts fiddling about in a little corner of the world wide web. I still remember when I came across your blog last summer, it was through that I Heart Blogs event on StylishKidsInRiot.com. From that point on I experienced what real community is and blogging for me has never been the same. I’ve been so affected by the compassion and just the depth of connection in this community (as you well know, because you’ve been such a huge part of both) and I consider myself so fortunate to have been on the receiving end of all that love. It really does become a family, because it’s such a piece of our lives that we’re all so passionate about. Regardless of our many differences, we connect so genuinely through fashion and blogging. It’s silly, but I can’t help think of that line from Sex and the City. “Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into and sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself.”

    Again, I’m so sorry that you’re going through this difficult time, V. You’ll be in my thoughts and I’m wishing you all the hope and comfort in the world.

    • says

      Casee, thank you so much for your comment. So glad we have found each other.

      You have so much wisdom for your age, you really do. I’m so glad you continue to blog, even when you have doubts about it. You would be sorely missed.

      And yes: “Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into and sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself.” Truer words were never spoken.

    • says

      Thank you love. Thoughts of comfort to your boyfriend as well. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to lose one’s own mother that way. So horrible.

  31. says

    i’m so sorry V.. :(

    It’s times like these that you don’t have the words to say to console but just be there. I’m going through that right now with best friend of mine who lost his best friend. it’s so tough, so hard to try and imagine what you are going through but to just rethink of my experiences.. it’s obvious that you two were so close and it makes it that much harder to think on a positive note…but the one way that helped me cope when i’ve lost someone special is just to remember all the wonderful times.. because there would be moments i got angry, wanted to scream, yell, be mad at why i had to lose that person… but i decided to WRITE in a journal of all the memories i had with this person, all the great stories we shared, the great moments we encountered and that got me through my days… i don’t know if that’s something that would help but it certainly did for me. you are such a strong and bright woman, constantly positive and always looking for the best in everyone. your love is widely known amongst this blog community so we send it back out to you.
    xoxo
    in my thoughts V<3
    Christina of Profresh Style’s latest post: LIVING IN THE SKIESMy Profile

    • says

      Christina, thank you so much, doll. What a terrifically kind comment.

      Writing down memories is a wonderful way to cope with loss, and to capture all those things we love about a person. I will likely eventually do this.

      Thanks again for sharing and for your touching words.

  32. Heather Fonseca says

    Oh Vahni, I’m so glad we were all there for you! It is a great little community isn’t it?

    I really am sorry for the loss of your Uncle. He sounds like a very special person. It’s great to have close and loving family members, but we all, I mean we ALL have some lemons in the family mix. Let me tell you, you are not the only one with family issues. I literally do not know anyone who doesn’t have some.

    It’s only been recently that I’ve begun to really understand the phrase: You can choose your friends but not you family. It’s so true.

    Anyway, I think you can tell we all love you. You and your Uncle will be in my prayers tonight!

    Much love,
    Heather

    • says

      Heather, thank you for your sweet comment and your perspective. I am so grateful. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.

      Yes, you can’t choose your family, but you can treasure your friends as if they were family, right?

    • says

      Thank you Cate. You and everyone else are helping greatly with the “hanging in there” part. So moved by the amazing comments here.

  33. says

    dearest sweetest vahni!! this has me on the verge of tears! both sweet and sad ones. my heart goes out to you and your loss. and at the same time, i am completely overwhelmed by the beautiful support & caring bloggers show each other. it’s downright magical.

    and being that you are a particularly connected, loving and supportive blogger, i think the outpour was even stronger. we get what we give in this world, and you give so much, so consistently. and though life may have its hard moments, i think you’ll always have people ready to give back that love whenever you need it most.

    <3 <3 <3 love to you always.
    kristy’s latest post: currently inspired byMy Profile

    • says

      Aw, thanks so much Kristy. Such a kind comment. I am honored, flattered, and so grateful for the support you and so many others have shown me this week.

      Thanks also for sharing this post.

  34. says

    Hi V! It’s very likely you’ve never heard of me. I read your blog but I don’t think I’ve ever commented on it, not for lack of will but because life is usually crazy.
    I’m really sorry for your loss, I can only imagine how you must be feeling. I’m sending you my thoughts of support, love and positivity. You will get through this and you’re truly blessed that u had the opportunity to meet and love someone as brilliant as your uncle.
    About ‘family’, I can’t stress enough how much I agree with you: what defines a family is LOVE and nothing else, not even blood ties. My family history is also difficult/unusual and I know that as we grow and learn about life, we also learn that many times the true support and encouragement we need comes from the most unexpected places. I’ve also been blown away by the unconditional friendship of people whom I’ve never met in person, only through social networks (my blog, Facebook, Twitter…). It’s a blessing of our times that we can find friends in distant places, who will always be there for us, and with whom we share so much.
    Thanks for having such a beautiful, intelligent blog and for sharing your feelings with us.

    Best wishes!
    xoxoxo Bere
    Bere Parra’s latest post: Four tasks of Psyche 2011 Polychromed Wood by Paul CherwickMy Profile

    • says

      Bere~

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I’m so glad you chose to comment so I could get to know you a little better too. Seems we’ve all discovered that our friends in social media are every bit (if not more) genuine than our friends in real life. It’s good to know we have each other.

      Thanks again for your lovely words.

  35. says

    I guess I think back to the comment you made on my Lipstick&Lumber blog long ago when I was ranting on about my job loss and being home with my parents and you said, “Enjoy them. The time you have with them is finite.” That always stuck with me. And between the strong relationships that you foster and carry with your fellow friends (bloggers) and what you describe as the deep relationship you had with your Uncle, it’s apparent that you enjoyed him much during his time here. That’s the most we can do, and that alone should give you much comfort amidst your grief.

    I’m sorry for your loss, and you take all the time you need dear! You always hung around for me. It’s no question that I will be here for you :)

    Take care V!!

    xo,
    raven
    raven’s latest post: so you got the stuff yeah i got the stuffMy Profile

  36. says

    I am so very sorry for your loss! What a beautiful and heartbreaking post. I personally know how hard it is to lose a family member that you are so close to. I lost my Mom 4 years ago and have never been the same. I am so happy that you are finding comfort in the large community around you that supports and loves you. May you also find comfort in the memories of your dear uncle. He sounds like a very special man. My thoughts and prayers are with you now and in the coming months. Sending lots of love your way!
    Margaret | Style Nook’s latest post: I Can Sea Clearly NowMy Profile

  37. says

    Oh V…. Hugs. I read this post yesterday and returned today and read it again. It’s beautiful- and so true- I’ve seen the sense of community in the blogging world and it is AMAZING. It’s touching to see so many caring people all in the same place. Best wishes to your family hun, I know it’s tough to lose somebody you love.
    Elle’s latest post: Reasons to Move to Your Own DomainMy Profile

  38. says

    Dearest Vahni, my words fall to the curb when it comes to trying to convey any sort of comfort for you- I am sorry for your loss. Knowing how big your heart is, just from our virtual correspondence, I know this loss of your near and dear cuts keenly against it- there is no fast recovery from losing a loved one who truly loved you. My prayers are with you and your family, and my thoughts go to your dear uncle who loved you so. May he rest in peace.

    Your post, this time in a personal vein, hits close to home, and I am glad that me, in league with a host of others who know you via G&G can give you some solace in this time of your suffering. You are magnificent, dear one. I love you.
    Bella Q’s latest post: Igloo YouMy Profile

  39. says

    I am sorry for your loss, Vahni. May you find warm peace soon, through many fond memories of your uncle, through your continuing interest in your Greek heritage, and in the deep thoughts and new understandings you reach as you navigate your grief. Like what you’ve shared with us already in this entry.
    Cloud of Secrets’s latest post: Secrets StaycationMy Profile

  40. says

    Vahni, never before has a blog entry brought me to such an emotional level. I’m in tears, nose running.

    After moving from Michigan to California, most of my family and friends don’t keep in touch with me. I’ve tried to keep in contact with them, but I can only do so much on my end. People that I’ve known for five or ten years, or my entire life, haven’t been around. And then, there’s people that I’ve never even met, that I’ve only known on-line, who have been there for me through this past year, one of the hardest of my life.

    Your uncle’s suffering is over. Now he can rest.

    We’re here for you. We’re here for each other.
    THE-LOUDMOUTH’s latest post: BOOBS! Okay- now that Ive got your attentionMy Profile

  41. A Brit Greek says

    Dearest V,

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss lovely. I can’t imagine how you’re feeling right now, I know it’s difficult, and the pain kinda blows you away, but the pain will go away and it does get easier with time. Keep thinking your happiest memories of your uncle to keep the spirit alive, I know he would have wanted you see you happy (or smiling).

    I know what you mean about friends that you’ve made via social media/networking/blogging, we’re precious little things and i’m also someone who is grateful for that.
    Am also with you on your comment about giving and receiving, I think that applies to everything in life.

    I hope you get to enjoy Easter lovely.
    Sending your family love, big fat Greek squeezy hugs and all the sweet stuff from Greece!
    x.o.x.o
    p.s loved your photos and that amazing dress from the Foley + Carina! you looked incredible!!!

  42. says

    Oh Vahni, I was so sad to hear about the loss of someone so dear to you. All of the tweets, comments and words of support are a true testament to the truly amazing woman that you are. You have been a mentor to me and a constant source of encouragement and inspiration. I place your strength and eloquence on a pedestal. My world has been enriched by your presence and it comes as no surprise to me that the blogging community would jump into action and try to give back the same support to you that you so open-heartedly give to all of us. Family is truly who you make it to be. I’m so happy to part of your modern family. Sending lots of love to you. xoxo
    brookemeagan’s latest post: Fabulously Vegetarian and Unfaithfully VeganMy Profile

  43. says

    V – I’ve been praying and thinking of you and your family this whole week, but am only now getting the chance to express my condolences. I’m glad you’ve found a ray of light through the friendships that exist in the blogging community. We miss your presence but have you very much in mind during this hard time. Sending your love and ‘air support’! – Katy
    Katy’s latest post: Friend Friday- InspirationMy Profile

  44. says

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your uncle. I’m glad you’ve received so much love through social media. You are such a big part of the community, I’m glad you are getting back in affection what you put out there in encouragement and inspiration.

  45. says

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! Clearly all the support that’s come your way is indicative of what an important part of our community you are. I’m sorry I didn’t hear about this sooner, so I could send a big bloggy hug! xoxo

  46. says

    So sorry for your loss. I’ve been so busy at work that I haven’t been on Twitter much. To have a wonderful, supportive person in your life is a gift. I had an uncle like that too so I can sympathise with you. Stay strong and we’ll all be here for you when you come back.

  47. says

    So sorry to hear of your loss V… I know you prefer not to blog about personal things but I think having the support of your readers seems to be a very positive outcome considering the sad situation.

    Thank you again for your fabulous blog and for reminding us why the blog world is such a great place.
    Jasmine’s latest post: three and a halfMy Profile

  48. says

    I’m putting the tears I’m shedding as I’m reading this down to the fact that I’m obviously pre-menstrual or the fact that it’s my last day here in Plymouth with all my wonderful friends and family. I am so blessed on both counts as my family is truly amazing and the friends I have are most definitely as close to me as family are. We’ve all been through so much together over the years but have always been there to support and offer unconditional love. The blogging world has definitely opened up another door to friendships and for that I am also truly grateful for. I’m so glad you found support in a dark time and hope our best wishes carry you through what ever dark times may lie ahead.. XXX
    GawgusThings’s latest post: Final DaysMy Profile

  49. says

    What a touching post. I’m honestly tearing up right now thinking about what a wonderful community this is. I’m continually surprised & warmed at the outpouring of love & support for each other. Sometimes I even surprised myself when I find myself wondering about a particular blogger’s struggle…did she get the job? has her Mom’s cancer progressed? It’s truly a testament to humanity, to care so much without ever having met. I wish you strength in this time and know that you’re in my thoughts.

    • says

      Oh no, hope it’s not misfortune or the loss of a loved one that w have in common! Please don’t tell me that’s it.

      Thanks for your support, Mish. So appreciative. Hope your Easter was wonderful.

      xo

  50. says

    We’re thinking of you. Take care of yourself. Yes, I find this community supportive. I guess it’s because I just like making friends and I help out with any queries I get, without expecting anyrthing back. Any tone of arrogance will not get you anywhere. Thanks for being an inspiring writer.
    Joy’s latest post: Soleful MondayMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you so much, Joy. I’m am touched, and you are so right: any tone of arrogance will indeed not get you anywhere.

  51. says

    Gah, I’ve been struggling to keep up with my Google reader recently, so I’m only just reading this… I’m so sorry to hear about your unclue, Vahni, it sounds like you had a really special bond with him: I could cry for you right now.

    As you know, I’ve had some problems of my own recently (although nothing like this, of course), and I also found the support from my social media and blogger friends to be absolutely amazing – it really blew me away, and went a long way to restoring my faith in humanity. I’m really glad it’s been of some comfort to you right now, and I hope you’re doing as well as can be expected.

    Ax

  52. says

    I am truly sorry to hear of your loss. My aunt was just very recently diagnosed with ALS and I was so very upset. I now will appreciate even more every second that I get to spend with her.

    My heart goes out to you.

    Lissy

  53. says

    Oh no I had no idea, I’ve been completely off the internet for a while now. I hope you and your family are okay<33
    You have the most amazing followers so I know you'll be very much supported in this part of your life and your hubby sounds amazing so I'm sure he is doing a stand-up job that end!
    Lots of love & hugs
    xoxo
    Meg
    Meg’s latest post: Get The Look- Gucci Spring 2011My Profile

  54. says

    First, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It takes courage to share that with others and I applaud you for it. I often have a hard time balancing what to share vs what not to share with my personal blog and this post inspired me in many ways. I am so thankful every day for the positive and fabulous community I have found through blogging. I have a family of blogger friends now. You are so right, family is not defined by DNA but by love. I learned that first with my adopted Greek in-laws and family (the warmest most giving people I have ever encountered) and most recently with the blogging community. Thanks for sharing and communicating in such an eloquent way.
    noelani’s latest post: Which is the New Cupcake- Results!My Profile

  55. says

    What a beautiful message to your readers!

    I am sorry. I had no idea! I have been absent on blogs…so I am sorry. :(

    Death is hard to deal with esp. if it is someone close to you. I am sure he would be happy to know you are thinking of him.
    annie’s latest post: Colors for Spring!My Profile

  56. says

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful sentiment during such a difficult time. I’m with you, both in the sense that I can relate to what you’re saying and also, “I’m with you”, as in I’m here, we’re all here. Those of us who’ve engaged with you, who’ve connected with you through you words, we collectively form an energy of support.

    There is no antidote to loss, there are no words that take the pain away. I’m sorry for yours, your uncle must have been a very, very special man.
    xo, f
    The House in the Clouds
    Fabienne Jach’s latest post: April showersMy Profile

  57. says

    Thank you all so very much for your comments, tweets, prayers, and for sharing your own experiences. You made coping with the loss of a loved one a teeny bit less painful. I am so touched by your kindness and hope you all know that should you ever need me, I’m never more than a click away either.

    xoxo

  58. says

    So true, I connected with followers/friends I made online on twitter and if I’m having a bad week they are always there to help. Thinking of you and I hope you had a lovely Easter x
    Gem’s latest post: AprilMy Profile

  59. says

    beautiful post, full of love. I’m really sorry about your loss and about the events that have hurt you so much. It is true that family is not defined by DNA, not at all. I’ve had the greatest gestures of love from people that share no bloodlinks with me. Thanks for sharing this tremendous amount of love with your readers xxx
    Fashion Limbo’s latest post: AllSaints in need of reinventionMy Profile

    • says

      And thank you for your kind comment. You, and all my readers, are the reason why I continue to invest so much of myself and my time in this blog. It’s such a beautiful community.

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