Everything was still, as if the world was holding its breath. The sky was ominous but the blackened clouds continued to hold steady. The only sign of life at the moment, was that of a young woman quietly conversing with two people-both of whom would never again respond.
"The flowers were so beautiful. You woulda loved 'em, Mum. We made sure to have your favorites. Everything was...just…it…God, I can't do this. I-I don't know what to do. How am I supposed to…to do this? I'm so afraid I'm going to let you down. I love you both…so…so much and I-I…"
She finally broke. The impenetrable stronghold she had maintained throughout the entire ordeal finally came crumbling down around her. Sobs wracked her already weak and exhausted body. The black skies opened up and let loose their own tears. Desperately she clung to the two headstones till her knuckles were white. She couldn't stop shaking—partly from the cold and partly from the anguish her soul felt. She didn't feel the hand on her shoulder, only hearing the voice that accompanied it.
"Rose... Love, you need to get up. You're getting soaked."
She hadn't even realized she had sunk to her knees. She lifted her head up—raindrops mixing with her tears. She looked at the hand that was reached out to her then back to the headstones.
"They're really gone."
The words hung in the air.
The woman knelt down beside Rose, choosing to be soaked as well rather than leave her side. Rose relinquished her hold on the two graves, her hands falling flaccidly to her sides. The woman beside her grasped her hand reassuringly.
Rose laid her head on the woman's shoulder. "What happens now?"
"We go home. All of us. Together."
"I'm so...scared," Rose whispered.
The woman squeezed Rose's hand reassuringly, dropping a kiss to her crown. "Me, too. But we've got you and you've got us. And somehow we'll do this together. Promise. C'mon, Mickey is getting worried and Tony is probably going to wake up soon, and if he does, you should be there."
She placed her arm around Rose's shoulder and stood up with her. Rose turned in the woman's arms and grasped her in a fierce hug, seeking warmth and solace. She was more than her friend; she was practically her sister; and now she, Mickey, and Tony were the only family Rose had left.
Rose took one last sorrowful yet loving gaze at the graves, and in that moment, she realized that more than just her parents had been buried that day. With one final silent goodbye, Rose and Martha walked arm in arm to the waiting car.