The heartbroken father described his daughter as "more than special, she was everything" and hoped she's looking down at them from above.
When Lauren Brownlee decided to move to the big city, she left behind an emotional letter for her father, Glen, and thanked him for being the best father she could ever have. Several years later, Glen read the same letter once again on a day that he never imagined he would have to experience — the day he had to watch his daughter being laid to eternal rest.
For Glen, his daughter was "more than special, she was everything", as reported by 7News, according to Yahoo!
In 2017, when Lauren and her boyfriend, Ben Hollow were watching a severe thunderstorm, they were struck by lightning in Melbourne. It was Brandon Cleine, who was driving back home through the storm who found the couple. Lauren had gone into cardiac arrest and passed away in the hospital while Ben suffered severe injuries.
Just a few weeks before Christmas, about 150 people who loved the cheerful, loving young 25-year-old came to her funeral and remembered the many cherished memories they shared with her.
Glen shared bits of the letter that Lauren wrote for him and read out the ending, which said, "This letter was pretty much to say thank you for... being the best dad possible. I love you with all my heart." The letter also thanked him for raising her and said she was excited about returning home for Christmas.
The bereaved father added, "It got the better of me, got under my skin, that she has appreciated everything."
Lauren's coffin was painted in bright colors and reminded her loved ones at the funeral of her joyful, bubbly personality, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Her cousin, Aylah Bronwnlee tried to fight back tears as she described her as "a country girl in the back of the ute with the wind in her hair," as quoted by The Age.
She talked about how Glen loved his daughter so much and said, "He was ever so caring and supportive. He was always trying to make all her wishes come true... They were the A team."
As she talked about Lauren, Aylah also shared that "she believed life should be built with memories and experiences, not objects. She always put people above herself."
Among the mourners at the funeral was Ben, who was 23 at the time and sitting in a wheelchair after the accident and devastated by the loss.
"Words cannot express emptiness in every waking breath without Lauren," Ben said at the funeral. "Lauren you are the love of my life and I will cherish every moment we spent together, love your favourite human."
Later, Ben even opened up about the overwhelming grief he felt. "I would have - and I'd still do anything to trade places if I could, but I can't," Ben told A Current Affair. "I've lost the single most important person in my life. Not only that, I've lost the best friend."
As for Glen, nothing can bring his daughter back, but what he hopes is that she is somewhere looking down at them from above. "If you see your grandmother – my mother – give her a big hug from all of us," the father said at his daughter's funeral.