I’ve seen thousands of people approach the CAN YOU SEE ME NOW banners. Some stand at a distance, unable to will themselves any closer. Others, usually because they know someone on them, run as if they expect an embrace. Some approach cautiously, knowing what they represent, but unable to fully process. Some approach them as if they are visiting a friend, and sadly others walk by as if they aren’t there.
Somehow this beautiful creature, Nicky, as if with an understanding she shouldn’t have, is an example to us all. She seems to recognize the profound loss, something far too few of her human counterparts do, and disregard the stigma attached to a death caused by drugs. There is no judging. There is no avoidance.
There is a connection.
We can learn from her, and we should. Let’s do better. Let’s see what is in front of us, WHO is in front of us, disregarding barriers that should never have been put in place. For every person on this banner, there is a family. For every person on this banner, there are others who are fighting NOT to join them.
If this collage of photos was replaced with a person struggling with the disease of addiction or a grieving family member, would Nicky have done the same thing?