The other day during one of our three commencement exercises at the college where I work, I found myself overwhelmed by a memory of Lauren that cut me to the bone. As the communications staff, we are required to sit on the coliseum floor near the stage in order to be able to photograph students receiving their diplomas and coming off the stage. We do it every year, but this year was particularly hard for me.
It reminded me of the night, nine days after Lauren's death, that my husband, son and I sat in the same place during Lauren's graduation ceremony. A bouquet of flowers sat in her chair.
Lately, I have been thinking about how memories of Lauren are everywhere around me. I even said to someone that there was no escaping it. It was bothering me quite a bit at first, but then I realized something: I want those memories- no matter how painful some of them can be. I don't want those painful memories to stop any more that I would want to lose the good ones.
So I will cherish the memories- good ones and painful ones, if it means she will always stay near to me.