When Lauren died I explained to her siblings that she would always be a part of our family, that we would always talk about her. I told them not to worry if I cried when we talked about her. It was just the sadness showing itself as it left me. I didn't want them to stop talking about her just because I was upset, being upset is not always bad.
The kids quickly came up with a catchphrase that they said we should use when remembering Lauren: What would Lauren Do? They said it should become our motto going forward. I love it because it brings her with us into the present. Instead of always talking about Lauren in the past tense, like saying "Do you remember when", instead we say "Could you imagine Lauren dealing with this situation, what would Lauren do?"
When thinking about the Covid Crisis I know that Lauren would have faced it mainly wearing her trusty dressing gown. She would be surviving on the fruit reserves of a small nation, probably with the addition of Jim Jams chocolate spread (spooned straight from the jar, obviously), she would be completing her schoolwork, but not to any timetable I approved of. I would no doubt have had many arguments with her about her ever-present dressing gown and generally unkempt nature. I'm sure we would also have sat through a fair few dance recitals that she would have cajoled her younger sister into joining in with, the days of her younger brother also participating are long past. We would have rolled our eyes, not realising how lucky we were.
If she could, I also know she'd tell me to stop being so overly sentimental.
I am well and truly over Lockdown. For a while it felt like a healing time for us all, but now I'm ready to start new memories, one's that don't involve things that happen within a 5 mile radius of my home. There have been walks with family and friends, bike rides, and more recently sitting in friends gardens drinking wine, and it has been welcome. Infact last Saturday, when my son had the opportunity to fire an air rifle, he declared it the best day ever. Although, I think you could possibily interpret the teen speak to be "Best day in quite some time". Lockdown is easing and we could go further afield, but the pictures of the packed beaches do not exactly make we want to go running for the beach towel and cool box, and a 2 hour queue for McDonald's is not the kind of memory I dream of creating.
I want to make more fun family holiday memories. Holiday time has always been a massive thing for us. We would much rather go without some unneeded home improvement and instead spend money on holidays. During Lockdown we have had 4 family holidays cancelled (Clearly not all abroad), and in recent times Lauren had asked for the opportunity to go abroad on school trips, instead of birthday presents. Whenever we think of family holidays now they are all tinged in sadness. I need some new ones to remember. It will be sad to go away without Lauren, but new memories need to be made. Although we can only imagine what Lauren would do, we will take her with us, in our hearts and in our actions, forever 💙💙💙