Lauren passed away unexpectedly last week. Due to the upcoming wedding and new COVID-19 lock-downs, I won’t be able to make it to the calling hours/funeral. I wrote a few words to be read and wanted to share them here.
I’m so sorry that I can’t be with you all today. I wanted to celebrate Lauren and to grieve together. As I can’t be there, I’ve tried to put down some words to share with you.
Lauren and I weren’t officially related: I was her boyfriend’s daughter who visited on the weekends. And yet: she was always there for me. She took me with her and included me, even in her family reunions. I have so many good memories from the camp on Lake Winnipesauki, hanging out with Lauren and her dad around the campfire. She made it to so many of my school concerts. She picked me up and drove me home – we had the best conversations in the car. She showed me how to handle life with grace and positivity — and passed on her love of purple, turquoise, and horses. Even when she and my dad were no longer together, she made sure there was time for me. During turbulent times, she made sure I was welcome and wanted. She was another mother to me.
Lauren’s singing voice reminded me of a string of pearls. Something about the soft luminescence, the elegance. She loved to sing: everything from let-your-hair-down karaoke at the Shalimar to concerts with the Pemigewasset Choral Society.
She had a great love of all creatures, great and small. I remember how Razz, her German Shepherd, adored her right back.
She adored dressing up and costumes — Easter, Christmas, Halloween, birthday parties, she went all in and I had the best costumes. Her parade floats were epic. If you’ve ever received a gift from Lauren, you’ll know she was amazing at wrapping gifts. I remember sitting on the floor, wrapping Christmas gifts with her every year. Her gifts were beautiful, bright paper with perfect corners and expertly curled ribbons. I tried (and still do!), but my packages never look as good as hers. I think about her every time I wrap gifts.
Just a few weeks ago, I shared photos of the shortlisted wedding dresses with Lauren. She was so happy for us and I was looking forward to sharing the photos – and showing her that I chose the dress she liked best. It never occurred to me that she wouldn’t be here to see the wedding photos, that she wouldn’t be here forever. Even now, though, I’m learning from her: send people those cat photos, reflect that light and happiness back. Don’t wait to tell people you love them. I wish I had told her that more often.
Lauren, you handled life with grace and joy. Thank you for sharing that and for touching all of our lives. I miss you so much.