I was 19 and travelling alone...

Lauren was like a sister to me; we were inseparable and loved each other fiercely.

Five years ago, she passed away from meningitis.

I got a tattoo a couple of weeks after across my ribs.

I found ‘shit happens’ in her handwriting, and it had always been our motto so it seemed fitting.

At the same time my parents were going through a messy separation. I felt out of control and as though I was only carrying on for her. I was juggling too much.

Three months after she died I ended up getting on a train and leaving the country.

I was 19 and travelling alone.

I remember being in the hot spring baths at Budapest and people were pointing at my tattoo and asking me about it.

Their questions started a conversation about why I had those words tattooed on me. I told them. I was able to talk about Lauren.

I don't look at the tattoo a lot but I know it's there and I hold onto that.

As Lauren always said, “shit happens,” then life moves on.

It was five years ago. Life does move on.

written by ellie