Luna's Funeral

January 17, 2011
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My heart aches as I look out the window. There were so many other ways this could have ended. But now, this is the end, this is all I have left, and this is all I will ever have to offer anyone anymore. There is no taking any of this back. The worst part isn’t even that it's my fault. It's that it FEELS like it is my fault… but it isn't. While i know in my head that I did what I could, I still feel like I failed. I feel as though, if I had found the words to say, she wouldn’t be dead. She didn't want to die, and he didn't want to kill her, but either way, I wasn't fast enough. I thought that coma would never end... but it did... It ended so quickly...
And now here I am in the back seat of a car because I haven’t the self-control to drive a car right now with these tears streaming down my face... The funeral was awful. It's been two days since she died, and people have already moved on. Her mother didn't even cry. Her father wasn't there, her sister, Rebecca, sat with me and we cried together. The eulogy was awkward. I could have done a better job if I hadn't been struggling for composure. Scratch that. Even if I had been screaming and rivers had been coming out of my eyeballs I could have done better than that. The service ended, and becca could hardly stand, she was shaking so badly. So we sat and waited for the others to walk out. They left us there with the open casket and the flowers. We walked up to her and stared at her face. She was so serene... which was odd. I could not get the final image out of my head. The last time I had heard her speak she had been screaming, begging for him not to hurt anyone. He had been pointing a gun at becca. She'd stayed where he'd told her to. He was a friend of mine, not in his right mind, and I tried to talk him down... I didn't yell, but I begged... my God I begged... When the cops showed up he got scared... shot a bullet at becca... when we all lunged to catch her he shot her too... hit her over the head with the barrel... and she hit her head on that rock. He wouldn’t let me touch her. he would let me get near either of them. She lost so much blood. Becca was conscious and able to compress her shot to the stomach. She kept her blood fairly in place. He looked at the two of them... and shot himself right there... He had been a good friend of mine. I had never known how many problems were going on at home for him... From his example I swore on that day that i would never do drugs again...
Now, staring at her quiet face, i miss her smile, her laugh, the twinkle in her eye, the way she would raise her eyebrows at me when I said something stupid... but all of that was replaced by her last scream... they made her look as though she had died in her sleep... wearing a baby blue sun dress and her brown curls perfectly around her face... her skin however did not look soft... and warm the way it used to. She looked cold, and hard, and pale... three words I would never have used to describe her.
Becca placed her flowers in the coffin and turned away. I saw in her face that she was dead as well. She tried to walk away but she could do it. We sat on the floor of the church before the cross and sobbed. I held her together as she fell apart, merely trying to catch the pieces before they shattered on the ground. We stayed there for longer than we were aware of, and yet it seemed to take forever. I kept my arm around her as we walked out of the church and got in the car. Of course everyone thinks it would rain on the day of a funeral, but today it was sunny. It was warm, and breezy, and bright and blue; something that doesn’t happen often here. The whole congregation was outside, smiling. Damn them all for smiling. Some of them dared to ask how we were. Others had the audacity to ask what was wrong. As we drove away, she tried to stop crying as she looked out the window. I let the tears fall... but over the years I have learned the art of silent crying. She gasped and hiccuped the whole way there. Her mother told her to "get a grip" a few times along the way. One last time she told her to control herself and she could not contain it. One sentence in particular made her mother recoil. "Your daughter was murdered. Did you ever love her at all?" As she screamed at her the clouds rolled in and the thunder clapped. We pulled into the cemetery and she jumped out of the car. As she ran off her mother turned to me and told me she had loved her. I could not help myself and said, "Then shed a tear or two, ma’am." i got out while the car was still moving and ran after her. Her parents did not attend the burial... We sat by her grave for the better half of the day... or... the worse half if you'd rather call it that. She fell asleep on the fresh mound, exhausted by her loss of life. It was as if she had died there with her sister... It scared me a little. I took her hand in mine while she slept in order to feel her pulse and calm mine... It began to rain but she did not wake. I carried her through the graves and back to the parking lot. I called my mother and she left work early to come and get us. I placed Becca in the back seat, buckled her in a way that allowed her to remain sleeping, and stood in the rain with my mother for a moment. She ran her fingers through my hair and wrapped me in her arms. I cried on her shoulder and begged for God to make the hurt go away... but he couldn't... It was not his to take.
We got in the car and began the two hour drive home. I now stare out this window, looking for something, anything to distract me... but all i can think of is her face. All i can hear is her scream. I see the scenes in my head where she wanted so badly to end her life. I thought she may have been exaggerating about her life at home, but I see now that she was not. How could such a beautiful girl have come to an end like this… She was dead. Murdered and her parents did not even cry. It was as if they'd thought of her as dead for years already. She used to laugh and make others laugh as well. She used to love the little things in life more than anyone I had ever known. She had dreams and goals and hope and wishes and no one seemed to care that she would now never achieve them. She would never be the mother of four children, two boys and two girls, married to the love of her life and living in a light blue house with picket fencing and white shuttered windows with two dogs in the backyard. She would never be a teacher to those who hadn't the means to be taught. She would never be able to travel and see the world and love it for all that it is and even some of what it is not anymore. She would never be able to climb a mountain. She would never see her sister grow to have the same kinds of dreams... Never. No one would see the side of her that we saw... the side that only ever wanted to be loved and to love like the world had never imagined that someone could love... She would never know that my only goal for my life had been to be the love of her life, the father of her four children, and the provider of her world. All I had ever hoped for was a life with a woman like her... and now i would never be able to have her. She is gone. She cannot come back. And yet she is here, flying through the wind with a smile on her face, winking at me as she ascends because now she knows what I meant when i told her that a man far superior to myself loved her with all of his heart. As she soars up to heaven, she sees that i was right when I said that she would be happy someday. The moon is out tonight... It’s a quarter moon... because she's up in heaven smiling down at us... hoping we will be able to smile soon. In the rear view mirror i can see Becca looking at me with her bloodshot eyes. She reaches a hand towards me and I take it in my own. I kiss it, "We will make it through this." I squeeze her fingers and she doesn’t let go. She lays her head on the shoulder of my seat. "We will make it through this..." her voice is hoarse from her screaming... Out the window the clouds are gone, and the moon is still smiling at me. "Take care of her" I say to the moon, and the stars wink at me as if to reassure me that she is no longer in pain...





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