Remembering all of the incidents surrounding my latest story about clowns, it brought to mind unusual incidents that occurred after Lauren died, and Chris and I took our other 3 girls overseas for a trip - which may have been much needed at that stage.
Laurie's cremated remains were in a box and resided on the mantelpiece of our fireplace which was situated in our main living area.
Our home was always open and welcomed any of her friends who wished to visit her, even in our absence, as sometimes it gave them relief to just sit and talk with her (For those who haven't been through this kind of experience, this probably is making you raise your eyebrows and wonder about us all--but believe me --it was all just a part of the grieving process).
When she was alive, and she had slumber parties, I used to light candles in the fireplace area, and at midnight, on the girls pleading, I would tell them ghost stories by candle-light. Silly stuff, I know. But they loved it! The more scared they could get, the more they screamed and laughed and begged for more.
Well, this story is about Lauren and the fireplace and her friends.
We were told about this incident on our return home, and I thought it was lovely and could understand their need to do it.
While we were away, Lauren's memorial birthday occurred, and not wanting to let her feel forgotten, her friends arranged a gathering in our home, around the fireplace, under the mantelpiece, where Lauren's ashes rested.
They brought candles and placed them in the empty fireplace, lit them, had some food and celebratory drinks on Lauren's behalf, and told stories--something that always happened in that spot!!
They remembered her. They re-told old stories, and reminisced, --I think they also did this late in the evening - not sure if it was midnight, but it was in keeping with tradition of story telling. Something kind of scary happened while they were there-and I may have my facts confused, but I think in the kitchen, a corner lower cupboard suddenly opened, and one of my gravy boats fell out and crashed on the floor. Needless to say, the girls were petrified - they blew out the candles--cleaned up what they had brought into the room, and left as quickly as they could.
When we finally returned home from our journey, some of the girls told us about that night, and about how scared they were. We talked about it, laughed a bit, and agreed that it was either the house, or that Laurie just wanted to have fun with them too!
For some reason, that story and that memory always makes me feel happy.
Like knowing the true love of friendship was holding them all together on the night, and the re-enactment of the fireplace stories by candle-light was a tradition that really meant something.
They were good friends, who loved their dear friend.