Lauren Sylvia Belius was a beautiful six year old girl. She was that rare sort of soul who seemed to radiate sunshine and always thought of others before herself, like when she donated her long blonde hair to Locks of Love. She was also Maya’s classmate and best friend. In the summer of 2011, Lauren was suddenly and tragically taken from us. And in her absence, the world will forever be diminished. Lauren’s mother, Allison, is an amazing woman and an inspiration. Recently, I told Allison that Maya still missed Lauren, that she still writes to her, that she still keeps a corner of her room dedicated as a memorial. I found Allison’s response so touching that I asked if I could share it here on ‘No Fear May Flee.’
It breaks my heart, not only did I lose Lauren, but so many other people did too. It hurts so much, how much some kids have to endure just isn’t fair. Maya, like my own kids, has had so much more to have to learn to live with, even before this. Now losing her best friend so early.
Sometimes I worry about Erica, that she’s blocking out her feelings and that it’s all going to come crashing down on her one day. But then, so often at night, I hear her talking to Lauren in her sleep. She has entire conversations, and laughs, sometimes even snaps at her like she would if Lauren were right there bossing her around. I hear this, and I think, maybe Lauren is with her. Maybe Lauren comes to see her twin, and the reason Erica isn’t grieving as hard as the rest of us, is because she knows Lauren is okay. Maybe she sees what we wish we could. Lauren in a safe place, happy, and letting Erica know that everything is okay now, and that she’ll see her again. Because that’s what it feels like….like Erica knows something we don’t. Erica looks at us when we cry, like she can’t understand why we’re so upset…like we should also know Lauren is okay now.
I’ve had one dream since she’s been gone about her. I’ve had many about him, or that morning, nightmares. But only one about Lauren. In that dream she was by the door at my parents’ house. When I saw her, her body was broken, like it was that morning. I scooped her into my arms to try to carry her to safety and help her, but when I looked at her again, she was whole, and smiling at me. That smile…like, silly mommy, why are you so worried? She was hugging me, and she said ‘I’m okay Mom, I’m not hurt.”
Maybe It was just a dream, my subconscious trying to help me move on and stop blaming myself. But I hope, every day I hope, that it was more than just that. It felt so real, and I hope that it was her, and that she really is okay.
If you think it would help, if Maya’s ever having a hard time…you can tell her about my dream, and about what I hear Erica saying in her sleep. Let her know that Lauren herself said she is happy and safe.
Maybe its the combination of the anniversary and the birthdays, but it has been hard again lately. I miss her so much I can’t breathe a lot of the time. Lauren was different. Everyone says that about their own kids, we’re programmed to love our own more than any other. But I don’t think anyone who knew her can deny that she had a spark most other kids don’t. Maybe it did happen for a reason. I hope I can figure out what that reason is someday.
Tell Maya thank you for being such a good friend to Lauren, there’s no other girl who could’ve been a better friend. I love her for that. And I love you guys for making such an amazing friend for Lauren…and for Erica.
Please visit the Justice for Lauren Facebook page and LaurenSylvia’s Law to sign Lauren’s petition.