Many families have heirlooms; objects that get passed down from generation to generation as a memento of the lineage and history the family name holds. When someone passes, being the recipient of said heirloom is often a huge honor, and provides a cherished item that can help recall many memories spent with its last owner.
Sometimes, though, those who pass leave behind something far more personal. While heirlooms are important and impactful, they're also very broad, and represent more than just the person who last held it. Personal items belonged to that one person, saying far more about their personality and values during life.
When his daughter passed away, a father found an old letter she had written him and decided to read it at her funeral, an emotional reminder of how beautiful a person she was.
Losing A Loved One Is Never Easy
It's one of the most complex challenges life can throw at us. Be it a lost battle with a long-standing health issue or something sudden and completely unexpected, when it comes to those we cherish, there's never a right time to say goodbye.
These feelings are only amplified when a child passes before their parent. No mother or father ever plans to have to bury their kid.
Those who do will often find very recent and modern things to remember their children by, something they left behind as a mark of their youthful and joyous life.
Like This Woman Did
After her passing, Lauren Brownlee's father found a letter she had written to him some years beforehand that perfectly encapsulated everything that was wonderful about her, including her loving nature and positive outlook on life.
Lauren passed away from a freak accident that no one could have predicted.
She and her boyfriend, Ben Hollow, were watching a thunderstorm in Chirnside Park on Melbourne's East side when they were both struck by lightning. Both suffered grave injuries, but only one would go on to recover.
It Was Extremely Tragic
Lauren and Ben were found unconscious on the road by a passerby named Brandon Cleine. He attempted CPR on Lauren as other help arrived, but to no avail.
"I was just hoping that she stayed alive..." he shared with The Age, "And I was just screaming at the lady on the phone like 'Please just get emergency services here as quick as possible. These guys are in desperate need.'"
"It's tragic. I can still picture her lying on the ground, I can still see Ben lying on the ground. I can still see her face. I'll never get that face out of my mind. [...] I just wish she would have made it, you know?"
Ben Ultimately Survived
Ben recovered from his severe injuries, having initially been seen with major burns up his legs. He was able to attend Lauren's funeral in a wheelchair.
Aylah Brownlee, Lauren's sister, recalled Lauren and Ben's relationship, saying, "He was ever so caring and supportive. He was always trying to make all her wishes come true … They were the A team."
Hundreds of people attended Laurens's funeral, largely comprised of close friends and family, who all remembered her as a bright, enthusiastic, and kind woman.
She Was Loved By All
She loved animals, skulls, alt-rock music, incense, and cosmetics. To reflect her bright nature (as well as some of her interests), her coffin was painted in bright purples and blues, featuring portraits of wolves and cattle skulls.
Her father, Glenn Brownlee, gave a moving speech at her funeral, during which he pulled out a letter that she had written prior to moving from her hometown out to Melbourne. As he read and spoke about his bond with his daughter, tears surely flowed from every audience member.
She Thanked Him
In the letter, she expresses gratitude for her father, thanking him for raising her. "This letter was pretty much to say thank you for...being the best dad possible," it read, ending with, "I love you with all my heart." She also expressed how excited she was to see them for Christmas later that year.
Glenn broke down during his speech, understandably so, and had to take a break. Upon returning, he said, "It got the better of me, got under my skin, that she has appreciated everything."
Those Who Love Her Will Remember Her Forever
"I told her recently how proud I was of her," Aylah shared, "She always wanted to move home. She believed life should be built with memories and experiences, not objects. She always put people above herself."
Glenn had said while he isn't religious, he was hoping his daughter was watching them all from above. He also told her, "If you see your grandmother – my mother – give her a big hug from all of us."
The People We Love Are Never Truly Gone
Though they may be absent from our lives once they pass, the items they leave behind give us the ability to remember not only who they were, but what they loved, how they loved, and every other detail that made them so special.
Having something as direct as a letter that says just how amazing of a father he was must be a real light in the dark for Glenn. No questions, no uncertainties, Lauren made it clear he was an excellent father through and through.
Let this be a reminder to tell the people in your life that you love them often, and also tell them why. Make sure they know how important they are to you so they never need to doubt your relationship, no matter what happens.
If you're looking for more information on your life and your individual sign, then you'll need your own zodiac reading. We're each on our own unique path and what some struggle with this season, might not be applicable to you too.
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