Candlelight vigil for murder victim Lauren Tanski

Posted at: 01/19/2013 11:43 PM
Updated at: 01/20/2013 12:17 AM
By: Dan Levy

ALBANY - There was an extraordinary event Saturday night in Albany, born out of tragedy in New Orleans, Louisiana, that grew into an evening of love here in the Capital Region.

Lauren Tanski may never have known in life how many people loved her and admired her. That's why her friends wanted to make sure that in death, everyone knew what she meant to them.

In 26 short years, Lauren Tanski touched the lives of countless people, either directly or indirectly. Many of them were in the crowd of more than 200 people at Dana Park in Albany, at the corner of Madison and Delaware Avenues.

The candlelight vigil was held so that people could reflect on a remarkable young woman, to share memories using metaphors and music.

"She was a great girl and she just had a lot of people that cared a lot about her," said Patrick McVey, a friend of Lauren's brother Christopher.

Tanski was a 2004 graduate of Colonie High School, who recently moved to New Orleans, where her father says she was living an adventure, an adventure that turned to horror earlier this week when her roommate's ex-boyfriend allegedly murdered her.

"She was such an amazing person," said Jillian Canavan, whose been a friend for four years, "She was so nice. I just don't understand how somebody can do something so horrific like that."

The manner in which she died was never mentioned Saturday night, people said they'd rather focus on Lauren, and on the great and wonderful things she accomplished in life.

Lauren loved journalism, and, according to her friend KC Orcutt, she would have loved to write about the vigil in own unique style.

"I think it would have curse words and some snarky comments but it would be beautiful," Orcutt said of the hypothetical essay, "She had a great way of making things that were mundane or unnoticed become the centerpiece."

This centerpiece on a chilly Saturday evening was that, as angry as people might have been, they chose to focus on the positive.

"The world is as ugly as it is beautiful and I think to separate the emotion, it's not easy," Orcutt continued. "There's no way to prepare for it but the fact that people have been doing it just shows how much of an influence (Lauren) had on all of us."

Calling hours for Tanski will be held Sunday from 2:00 P.M. til 6:00 P.M. at New Comer Cannon Funeral Home in Colonie.

The funeral is at Blessed Sacrament Church in Albany Monday at noon.