A Special Message for Lauren

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Seven of my coworkers were massacred in 1988. The gunman was a former employee who was terminated for harassing a female colleague. I was working in the human resources department and was a member of the crisis response team. After the tragedy, some of the victims’ families wanted to visit the crime scene, so we made the necessary arrangements to accommodate them. I was assigned to assist a woman named Lauren, just twenty-one, whose husband was shot and killed in his office.

Before Lauren arrived, the facilities staff worked all night cleaning up and renovating the office, which included repainting of the walls. The facilities supervisor as well as the manager of securities inspected the area and they assured me that nothing there would upset Lauren. I wanted to check for myself so I went in the office and sat down at the desk. The supervisor followed me in and whispered that because they were in such a hurry—the desk they moved back in was from another office and not the victim’s. I opened all the drawers, which were virtually empty, and made sure nothing was on top of the desk or on the computer.

Lauren arrived dressed in casual attire: a crew neck t-shirt that was tucked snugly into her jeans. She was wearing tennis shoes. A grief counselor was with her, who informed me that Lauren will be going into the office and spending time there alone. They agreed that the counselor would check in on her after twenty minutes.

The counselor, security manager, and I waited at the far end of the hall, approximately twenty-five feet away. After twenty minutes, the counselor walked down and knocked softly, then entered the room closing the door behind her. Shortly thereafter, both of them appeared and Lauren approached me. Right away, I noticed that she was clutching something against her chest. It was a notebook, measuring seven and one-quarter inches by nine and one-quarter inches.

Lauren and I spoke on the phone later that evening and I asked her where she found the notebook. Lauren replied that it was sitting right on top of the desk. When I informed her that it wasn’t there before she went in, Lauren said she wasn’t surprised. Lauren added that her husband wanted to make sure she got his journal and that she can feel his spirit in the notebook. I believed her.

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