Never be the Same
Chapter 1: Mourning Luke
I silently whispered your name to myself. I watched them lower you to the ground, where you will stay for the rest of eternity. It was right next to your parents. That fact alone made me cry harder. I looked over to your son.
He was 18, although you already knew this. He wouldn't leave me, even though he could. When we found your body, Sam gathered me in his arms and told me that he would never leave me. He said he would always be there. But, that's what you said too, isn't it?
"Mom, they want us to say a few words. You want me to go first?"
I shook my head no and then walked in front of the town to say my take on your life. I stood there in front of them knowing that I couldn't keep myself together much longer.
"Luke Danes was not only my husband, but my friend, my rock, and my lover. He meant everything to me. He was the father of my only son and a father figure to my only daughter. I loved him like I never loved anyone else. I can't say anything else other than, that I will love Luke Danes forever. Even after death."
I stepped back and went to stand near Sam and Rory to get the support I needed. Sam put his arm around me and tears came to my eyes. His arm felt like yours. Everything about him reminded me of you. His looks, his touch, even his smell was almost exactly like yours. He tightened the embrace and left to say his view of your life.
He started speaking to the heavens. He spoke to you directly, didn't he? I would do that when I was alone with you. I didn't have the strength to speak to you around others.
"Well dad, looks like our plans didn't quite pan out the way you had hoped."
He quietly chuckled, even though he knew it wouldn't ease the pain he felt. My heart reached out to the man who was once our boy. But, I stood there waiting for him to continue. He took a shaky breath and continued.
"You were the best dad in the world. You will always hold that title. You were a great man who did so much for mom and I in your lifetime. I know you wanted to stay around longer, but longer would never be enough for any of us. We would want forever, and I know that you couldn't offer that. Thank you so much, dad. For everything you did. Even the little things."
He came straight back to me and put him arm around my shoulders protectively. I wanted to say that I was okay and that he couldn't protect me from this, but I just couldn't. I couldn't talk anymore. My mouth was dry and my throat burned. I wanted you back, but I knew that wouldn't happen. I knew that it couldn't happen.
The rest of the town took their turns talking about you and saying how proud they were. And soon they announced that they wanted us to say goodbye to you one last time. I started shaking and held the tears in. Sam said his goodbyes with an unreadable expression, just like yours was at times.
"Mom, I'm gonna head home. Will I meet you there?" He asked softly.
I nodded and watched our son as he walked off for home. He was such an amazing young man and I knew he would get even better. You knew too didn't you? I stood looking at the headstone that read your name and said a brief summary of what you meant to everyone.
I looked down and held the tears at bay. I've held them in since the day you passed on.
"I miss you so much. I will always love you, Luke. In our wedding vows, we replaced the term 'till death do us part with the word forevermore. Well, I hope you stick to that, because I know I am. I love you, Luke. Always did and always will. Goodbye. We'll visit you often."
With that parting, I left and headed towards home. The home that we shared, Luke. That cozy house in which I raised Rory and we raised Sam. I stepped inside and noticed it felt different. It didn't have that claustrophobic "would you get your right arm out of my left rib" feeling. It felt huge and empty and nothing like it used to with you here.
I went upstairs to Sam's room and saw him sitting on his bed. He was deep in thought, probably thinking about the last time we saw you. I felt like this was private and moved from the door ready to leave.
Sam's head snapped up and he gestured for me to come to him. I sat with him on his bed, holding him, for the first time in years. He sighed and he pulled me into a crushing hug.
He was cutting off my blood and oxygen supply, but who was I to disturb my son from hugging the one parent who was still alive. His head rested against my shoulder. I was soon overcome with how alike you two were like. You're grinning right now aren't you? I kissed the top of his head and smoothed out his light brown hair.
I knew that we would never recover from this blow. He also knew that.
"Mom, we're never gonna get over this are we?"
But the difference was that he was brave enough to admit it out loud, while I could still barely admit that you were gone. But I knew that somehow, we would live on with a new, but sad routine. We'd survive the tears, but not today. Today, we said goodbye. We could mourn our loss in silence. Just a mother and son reading each other like a book.