I want to start this by thanking everyone for their outpouring of support after I posted this video. I really appreciate everyone taking the time to watch and for all of your kind words. It was so nerve-wracking to post this both because I don’t post videos of me singing (especially alone and acapella) very often, and because I don’t speak publicly about my sister very often.
For those of you who haven’t watched my video, I have a little sister named Danya, who drowned in our backyard pool when we were kind. When I heard that a country artist I admire, Granger Smith, lost his son in a similar way it brought up a lot of feeling that I had about this tragedy in my life. I don’t need you all to be worried about me, though. Next year marks the 20th anniversary of Danya’s passing, which is to say this is something I have carried with me a long time. Luckily, I have creative outlets like this where I can express what I feel. Also, I have an awesome therapist that I just started working with(;
It is hard sometimes because I am the only one of my siblings that was alive when Danya was around. This makes me feel almost that it is my responsibility to keep her memory alive. I hate that I sometimes feel obligated to tell people I have 3 younger siblings instead of 4 to avoid that conversation. It makes me feel so guilty. At the same time, it feels like she is always here with me. This really intensified in college when I was on my own. It’s this feeling that pushes me to pursue my passions with the intensity that I do. Not achieving my dreams is not an option because Danya never got the chance to pursue hers. I can’t take this life for granted.
My intent in sharing this is not to bring anyone down or have anyone feel sorry for me. I am not the only person in the world with childhood trauma like this. Instead, I want it to motivate you in Danya’s honor to be grateful for the life you still have. Never take for granted the things that matter to you most be it your goals, your loved ones, or what have you. And for those who have experienced trauma like this, know that it is okay if you never “get over it,” but you can always move past it. Keep moving forward. Also, go see a therapist.
If you haven’t seen my latest video, watch here:
“According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1- 4. Pool Safely, a national public education campaign run by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), was launched in 2010 to raise awareness about pool and spa safety, as mandated by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. ll parents and caregivers are reminded to follow Pool Safely’s simple steps to keep children safer in and around the water:
- Install a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate around all pools and spas.
- Designate an adult Water Watcher to supervise children at all times around the water.
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
- Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
- Teach children to stay away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- Ensure any pool or spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards. If you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safer drain covers.” Source.