Almost 35 years ago, my childhood girlfriend from the time I was 2, Laurie Rooney, died an unexpected death at the age of 20. At the time I was 20 myself, and her death stunned me so much that I couldn’t shed a tear. And I remained dry-eyed until I sent my daughter off to college, almost twenty years later.

Laurie’s death is still one of the more significant events of my life. Today, though, is the first time I ever visited her grave.

Driving there, I couldn’t help but imagine what it must have been like for her parents and siblings to make that drive for the first time. If her death stunned and shaped me, I can’t fathom what it did to them.

This post is a tribute to Laurie’s remaining siblings. I don’t know how you got through it. But whatever you did to get yourself here, I admire you for remembering that life is for living.

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