The Unexpected Beauty of Social Media, Part II

So many of you reached out with messages of comfort and kindness when I shared that I had lost my most beloved uncle last month—and I was so moved I wrote On the Unexpected Beauty of Social Media. That post is a testament to the depth of fashion bloggers and this community we have created. Anyone who thinks fashion bloggers are a vain, shallow lot is grossly mistaken.

Of course, we know that. But for those who might be on this page thinking we’re completely self-absorbed because we post photos of ourselves online—even if that was your experience before landing on this page, I hope you’ll come back and see how we all prove you wrong. Click through the comments and you will see the same names elsewhere, genuine interaction woven through hundreds of blogs that span the globe.

Talk about beautiful…

I try to keep it light here on G&G, but I just received this letter today, and am typing this with a lump in my throat and tears that just won’t stop flowing. I literally burst into tears upon reading it.

I adore all my readers, but a very special, deeply-felt, utterly humble thank you goes to B of Beautifully Invisible for organizing this labor of love. B, you know I love you, and really, we need to meet in real life already! (People, can you believe we’ve never met?!) Thank you so, so, so much.

And many more thank you hugs go out to these beautiful people (my uncle always referred to others as “you beautiful girl,” “you beautiful guy,” or “my beautiful people”) for showering my family and me not just with love, but with a tribute honoring my uncle, William P. Georges, and donations that help those with ALS—like my uncle—who need in-home care because of this horrible disease. I am beyond moved and truly touched to the very core of my being.

Thank you…

Again, on behalf of my family and me, I thank you all for your donations and this incredible gesture.

PS: What you can’t see in that photo of my uncle is me on his left. Imagine what a blessing it was when I saw the photo his family selected for his obituary, and realized that he was smiling that big smile while I was right there with him…in my house. Now I’m smiling too. 🙂

57 comments

  1. Okay, I’m crying.

    That was an amazing thing that B and the other bloggers did for you. Wish i could’ve been involved but I’m even more glad that you see how important and inspiring you are to all of us. You’re so genuine and real and you never forget to visit our small, just-starting-out blogs. I appreciate you so much for that.

    Lauren Nicole

  2. Vahni, it’s people like you with such a tremendous capacity to care and support who evoke the same feelings in others. And it’s people like B with the drive to help a community give their collective support who are able to make things like this happen. I consider myself so genuinely fortunate to know both of you, and to know so many of the others on that list as well. The picture of your uncle warmed my heart, and even more so now knowing you were right there beside him!

  3. I got the email B sent about this, and B is just such a darling. I’ll be working on a little something this summer for this, haven’t had the time yet, but I’m definitely getting involved! You, Vahni are amazing, and it’s always sad to lose a beloved family member especially to disease- I know the feeling (as I’ve lost my mom or atleast her mind/soul to bipolar disease). I hope this cause continues to grow.

  4. I don’t know how I stumbled across it, but the blogging community that you are an integral part of amazes me- what a thoughtful true gift from the heart. Thank you for reminding us all that the best part of the blogging are the friendships forged and the the connections made, the kind of connections that trancend electronic impulses of the internet and become heartfelt ones. Love to you and your family, Vahni. That includes your friend/family of the blogging community.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your uncle, V. He seemed to live his life to the full, making those around him smile. 🙂 SarahD xxx

    PS Thank you so much for your comment on my last post-made me smile.x

  6. What a heart-felt gesture from these bloggers. For all those who think style bloggers are a shallow bunch, this is proof of the opposite of that. And proof that virtual friendships are as real as ones made face-to-face. Thanks for sharing this with us, Vahni.

  7. Wow, now I have a lump in MY throat! My eyes are literally watering as I am typing. This has got to be the most incredible and heartfelt thing anyone can ever do for another person. It’s beyond me. She is so sweet for doing that and wish I were able to be a part of it to join the rest of the bloggers.

    Have a lovely day.

    xoxo,
    mel

  8. Holy moly this was such a touching post V….reminds us all that there are truly thoughtful and caring people in this world who are so self-less and giving. The blogging community never ceases to amaze me and I feel fortunate to have found such amazing people along the way. You can tell just from your Uncle’s smile that he was an amazing man indeed. Sending you love and hugs. xo Nicole

  9. What a beautiful tribute. I’m in awe of the love that can be found in our community! I truly hope that this love has brought you some peace and comfort!

  10. Wow, V, I’m sitting in my car about to go into an event, trying not to cry.

    The blogging community is so amazing! I have a t-shirt that says “Be the change,” and it reminds me constantly that being the change in the world doesn’t have to be big or monumental but just being the change in one person’s life. Fashion bloggers are assumed to be shallow, vain, materialistic, etc. but this one of many examples in how fashion bloggers are being the change in the world one person/family at a time.

    Thank you for sharing and being transparent (you’re such an amazing lady); I am touched and inspired from reading this post!

  11. B is truly amazing. I was so excited when she reached out to me about being part of this. How thoughtful of her to put forth such an effort in honor of you and your dear uncle! I wish I could’ve given more, but I wanted my involvement to be there, no matter how small. V, you’re a great friend yourself, and you deserve all the love in the world from us. I’m so in love with this community we’ve built up! Thank you for being you.

    1. PS: Thank you, also, for respecting our privacy and blocking out my last name (and most of B’s)! That was thoughtful of you.

  12. I thought I could hold the tears but nope…
    I was so thrilled to be apart of this. You deserve all the love and respect from us.
    Thank you B.
    Love from your aussie friend. x

  13. Alright, I’m crying. This is just so overwhelmingly touching. I can admit that I’m a bit of a pessimist. I tend to think most people are a-holes, but blogging has seriously changed that opinion. For people, most of whom I assume you’ve yet to meet, to reach out in such a warm way is a true testament to the relationships born from blogging. I am truly sorry for your loss, V. I have an uncle who is very much my father figure and the thought of him one day not being there is almost paralyzing. I’m happy you have such lovely people around you (both in person and through the blogging community) to support you during this challenging time.

  14. You are awesome, and I am deeply sorry for your loss. I’m glad they used that photo of him smiling that big with you. That’s really touching.

  15. B is incredible…I was teary eyed when I received her email. Her thoughtfulness overwhelmed me and the kindness of all these bloggers including you V really constantly humbles me. I’m so new to the community but I feel really blessed to know you and many others on the list. it is literally the most wonderful surprise to find how many beautiful people are out there. And it’s true what Casee Marie says, you are the reason for all the love you received. Your incredible love for this community and your support of other bloggers is immense and I’m so thankful for B who organized a way to show how much we care and love you back.

    Again big hug to you V. I burst into tears when you spoke on the picture, so sweet to know you’re sitting next to your uncle and his big smile.

  16. What an amazing testament to the power of community within the blog world. This is a beautiful reminder that despite distance, we are part of a collective of friends. I am so touched and inspired by this post. Thank you for sharing, and my condolescences on your loss.

  17. This post evoked floods of tears in me soo beautiful. You are so loved in our worldwide blogging community and I was keen to get involved when i got the email from B and she really is a saint for setting it all up. I’m so glad that our little community could do this for you.

  18. Hello V, I was so honoured to be apart of this, You are such an amazing person, and I have learned a great deal from you my friend. I am so very happy to have gotten to know you through this increasingly beneficial community in the blogosphere. This post is touching for me to read, as you have opened your heart to so many. Thank YOU V! Continue to shine my dear! -xo

  19. FIRST, I can’t believe I have never been to your beautiful blog before? Can’t wait to read through old posts and get to know you.
    SECOND, this post is so touching- If you had asked me when I started this blog if I would make friends, I would have thought you crazy..and YET now a year later I have met IN PERSON two bloggers who I adore and know will be friends and have felt the love and support of many a dear blogging buddy….its an amazing phenomenon.
    So sorry for your loss….thanks for sharing this post.
    C

  20. It still amazes me how an online community can feel (and be) like a close friend/family. Maybe I’m a tiny bit sentimental but this post is hearth warmed. I’m glad that the world isn’t hard every where. There are still people around that care and share this with others without wanting in return. What a gift for you and the family of your uncle.

  21. Vahni – I couldn’t agree with you more – there is an unexpected beauty in social media and blogging. Lately I have used this experience as an example when several different people told me that real relationships cannot be forged online. That simply is not the case. We may never meet in person, but there is a community here and there are friendships created and fortified with what happens to us along this journey. Thanks for sharing. – Katy

  22. Vahni, I love you. My part in this was small. Tiny even. It was your beautiful spirit and heart that was the true organizing force behind this. Your kind words above are just further testament to the kind of person you are and it was no surprise to me that so many chose to participate in this! You have touched so many hearts through your words and images, which not only makes you a super blogger – it makes you an amazing woman.

    It doesn’t matter that you and I have never met – I feel like we are kindred spirits through the interaction we do have, and hopefully one day when we meet in person that bond will just be strengthened! I’m glad that this little act has made your heart smile, and I hope that it does justice to your Uncle’s memory while also honoring you, our dear friend.

    Now, I am off to find some kleenex. XOXO

    1. B, this is so well put. Vahni brought all of this upon herself due to her kindness. But, Vahni, don’t let B fool you. She was a rock star organizing this! 🙂

  23. First, I’m deeply sorry for your lost. Second, I got goosebumps when I read this. This little community is so strong, so wonderful, and so much deeper than anybody would ever imagine.

  24. V! This is truly touching, and I’m such an emotional person and this really bring tears to my eyes. When you feel your alone, and your friends and fam of a whole nother world come to your rescue to make sure you know your have support!!
    Your a very nice person – you deserve the love.

    I love this 🙂

    xx
    Tymbre

  25. First off, I’m truly sorry for your loss. This is my first time on your blog and I was extremely moved by this post. As a fellow blogger, I know the negative reputation we sometimes get and while I know it’s 100% false, it’s amazing to see a shining example of just how genuine bloggers are.

    You’re awesome.
    Ashley

  26. Now I’m tearing up. I had no idea it would mean this much to you. I’m so glad I could be a part of this and, most of all, be a part of this wonderful community that supports each other so wholeheartedly. Now I’m going to get all mushy, but you and B have been two of the most influential bloggers for me in terms of relationship building. All of the support you are feeling is only a fraction of what you give to us, V! You really are a building block that holds our little supportive group of bloggers together. I’m so glad we could help out this cause, and a huge thank you to B for organizing this!

  27. I’m so overjoyed to read this. Of course I’m saddened for your loss, but I’m really uplifted by the power of the blogging community and the helpful, kindhearted people I get to interact with everyday because of my blog. That includes you, too! What a beautiful tribute to your uncle. I’m so touched I’m feeling speechless.

  28. I agree, the blogging community can definitely be a sweet & powerful one. So sorry about your loss but that is so sweet that some of these amazing bloggers did that for you. Incredible, moving post!

  29. Vahni – again my condolences. The loss of close family can be paralyzingly painful. When B contacted me about a group donation – I didn’t hesitate to say yes. You have been such a help to me and so many others with your sound advice and intensely detailed posts on being a better blogger that I wanted to be there for you when you needed “us.”
    I second Steph’s appreciation in holding our surnames private. Thank you for your discretion.
    I hope your days become easier and that eventually you will be able to think of your uncle and smile.
    Much love to you…

  30. What an amazing gesture! It just goes to show the kindness of people knows no boundaries, whether in person or through the world wide web. The was very touching.

    xoxo

  31. Beautiful indeed, and very very touching.
    I’m so glad this community can reach out and grow out of it’s (supposed) limits to help and to console.
    My condolences once more, and another hug, this time with a teary smile.

    Madeline

  32. This is a beautiful and touching story indeed. Hope you are doing okay, but the love of this community and your followers will without a doubt, already help.

  33. That is absolutely beautiful!! It certainly is an unexpected beauty of social media 🙂
    This just prooves what a strong, caring community you have help to build around you V!
    I have a surprise over on my blog for you<3 🙂 xoxo

  34. Thank you all again, for your donations, comforting words and support…I am so blessed to have so many wonderful friends!

  35. we love you vahni!! when B. came to us with this idea I was beside myself with how kind & thoughtful it was. she’s so fantastic for coming up with it. but you inspire that kind of action in people! you bring out the best in all of us. and that’s just one of the many reasons why we adore you.

    your uncle resonates love, kindness and happiness in that photo. i was very touched by the story about the photo and that you are next to him and it’s in your house. you obviously brought the best out in him as well.

    so much love to you vahni.

  36. What a truly wonderful and beautiful thing for B to have done.

    I was so sorry to hear of your loss V. And reading this and about your uncle makes me feel even more sad for you. But how amazing to have known such a wonderful man.

    I missed getting involved in this – is there any chance of having the details sent through please?

    I think what you said about the (fashion) blogging community and the friendships and support that it can provide – a real inspiration. You have played such an integral part in that V and it seems only right that you are shown the support in return that you have offered to so many of us.

    xx

  37. Hi V,

    Sorry I missed this! I’m following B of Beautifully Invisible now on twitter so won’t ever miss a thing.
    Hope you and your family are well. Again, I’m really proud of being with IFB (it’s even on my business card!).
    Take care, you.
    Joy xx

  38. V: I’ve been so absent from blogging (just came back for real this week) I had no idea, I am so sorry for your loss and so moved by what B organized! I am in the process of watching my uncle battle alzheimer’s and it’s awful to see the ones you love slowly change. Your strength and love throughout this is inspiring, and I wish the best for your family, though it seems they already have you 🙂

  39. Vahni… I’m tearing up right now so can’t form a coherent response… but this is so incredibly sweet. The blogging community is so wonderful, isn’t it? *massive hug*

  40. Thanks once again to all of you who have commented, tweeted, donated, and shared your thoughts and experiences with me. I can’t tell you just how much you have all touched me, and more important, how you have honored my uncle.

    Since writing this post, I received a hand-written note from Neil Cottrell, President of the Joe Martin ALS Foundation. He expressed his appreciation for all our donations, and acknowledged the touching tribute made in honor of Uncle Bill. He thanked us all and I thank you a million times over.

    xo

    ~V

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