As they somberly walked into the church none of them in their wildest dreams ever thought this day would ever come, as the all sat in the front row they all seemed to cling onto each other for moral support and friendship. As the guys did their best to comfort the ladies they all tried to combat their own emotions. Felix, Eve and Frankie did their best to comfort each other, while Stella, Lucy and Grace clung on to each other for dear life. Moments later the team and friends watched as the casket was carried in by Gabby’s colleagues and member’s of the order and St. John and Joe, while Alex and Jessica followed up behind trying not to break down and cry. Trying to smile to the team he knew it was never going to reach his lips as he passed by Grace caught his hand and squeezed it tightly, nodding they seemed to understand this unspoken show of support. Sitting upon Grace’s lap Jessica just sat silently as she watched her beloved Mother lay in an oak casket. As Alex stood with Joe at the parapet his mind went numb, trying to find the words was going to be agony.
“I think of you often and make no outward show, but what it means to lose you, no one will ever know. You wished no one farewell, not even said good-bye; you were gone before I knew it, and only God knows why. You are not forgotten nor will you ever be, as long as life and memories last, I will remember thee. To some you may be forgotten, to others a part of the past, but to me who loved you dearly, your memories will always last. Nothing can be more beautiful than the memories I have of you. To me, you were someone special; God must have thought so too! If tears could build a staircase and memories a lane, I would walk all the way to heaven, and bring you back again.” Pausing for a moment Alex swallowed hard not only to collect his thoughts but also try stopping his tears from falling, before he went on.
"My dear sweet beautiful wife, I promised you my heart and soul forever. For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage." Looking to the piece of paper in his hands, Alex spoke once more knowing it was all he had left.
"Nunc scio quit sit amor."
(Translated from Latin, means; "Now I know what love is.”)
Walking over to oak casket stood on stilts Alex did all he could to hold it together, not just for himself but also those other faithful friends and family that were equally devastated by the loss of their colleague, friend and Mother. Holding on to Joe as tightly as he could he stood next to the casket that contained his loyal and loving beautiful wife inside, as pall bearers stood on either side of the casket taking the small box containing the highest medal from the order; the one Gabby had longed for they handed it over to Alex who did all he could not to break down. Feeling Joe squeeze his hand he felt safe for a moment, before laying a soft kiss upon the casket.
“I love you my darling, always and forever.” Whispering to the casket as he finally found he could no longer hold it all in, Alex broke down and cried unashamedly. Taking his father in his arms Joe did all he could to be strong for his father, but knowing deep inside he too was feeling just the same as Alex and the rest of the team. Watching as they led the casket away Jessica was silently crying into Grace’s arms as her Mother’s casket was carried past her, asking the pall bearers to stop a moment she got off of Grace’s lap and walked over to the casket. Wanting to stop his daughters tears Alex went to his daughter’s side, closely followed by Joe and they watched Jessica speak.
“Ti amo per sempre la mia cara madre.” Kissing the casket as she had seen her Father do, Jessica took off the locket she had given her the day after Alex and Gabby had got married. She placed it on the side of the casket as Alex took her into his arms, Jessica spoke once more
(Translated from Italian means; I love you forever my dear Mother.)
Holding his daughter tightly Alex watched as the love of his life was carried out from the church and off to the graveyard, numbly following on he felt how Sean and Grace supported him either side while Joe supported his step sister, Jessica. Trying to smile he knew it would never reach his lips, wiping their tears away as best they could the team followed Alex out to the graveyard and where Gabby was to be buried. As the service continued Alex numbly stood letting his tears fall freely as Grace stood one side and Joe the other, all he really knew was that he was holding Jessica tightly and that his stunningly beautiful wife wasn’t coming home. It was all a blur to him if he was honest, but as the crowds departed he was left standing at Gabby’s graveside with Grace and the rest of the team by his side. Looking over to Joe who had finished thanking people and was now stood trying to comfort Jessica the best he could.
“Joe is a credit to you both.” Grace said as she tried her best to comfort her long standing friend, nodding slightly Alex wanted to speak but found that he couldn’t. As the hours passed by, the rest of the team had long since left the graveside and where now waiting by the cars but still Grace and Sean stood by Alex’s side.
Feeling the cold wind biting into his numb tear stained face Alex knew he should be going but the honest truth was that he didn’t WANT to go, he had told her he would never leave her side but now he felt totally lost.
“I feel so lost Grace, what am I meant to do now? I’m lost without her, she was… IS my life!” Feeling his grief wash over him like a great wave he broke down and fell into Grace’s arms, and as his tears fell those that Grace had been trying to hold back fell too. Feeling a little useless Sean walked over to where Joe was trying to comfort Jessica; nodding to Joe he held his arms out as Jessica instinctively ran into Sean’s arms. Holding on so tightly to her Sean no longer felt able to hold back his own tears from falling, feeling Jessica hug him tightly back made Sean feel slightly better and as Joe put his hand on his shoulder he looked up and tried to smile.
“I know Sean, I know!” Was all Joe could or even needed to say, feeling his friends pain being joined by his own pain and grief. Standing by the cars Spencer took hold of Felix and held her in his arms, feeling how she was trying like the rest of the team to be strong. Knowing it was no use she turned to face Spencer and looked into his eyes, knowing what each felt without a single word Felix buried her head in his chest and finally broke down; followed by the rest of the team.
Back at the graveside Grace dried her tears slightly as she indicated to Alex that it was time for them to be going, feel the pain he felt as he look up at Grace with tears still falling and his red eyes.
“I don’t want to go Grace; I belong by her side!” Alex managed to say through the tears and pain, nodding Grace knew what he was feeling and going through.
“I know Alex, I know it hurts. But we have to go, come on let’s go.” Grace replied as she gently led her friend away from the graveside, never letting go of her friend. Back at the car Alex was hugged tightly by his friends and colleagues as he tried his best to regain his strength, as they all got in the cars Alex held Jessica in his arms and cried softly with his beautiful daughter. Moments later the cars pulled away leaving behind their friend and Mother, while Alex left behind his wife lover best friend and soul mate. Taking his hand in hers Grace felt his pain and tried her best to comfort him, knowing Gabby would be looking down upon them all and protecting them as best she could. As Joe sat in the front thoughts filled his mind of just how his Father could or even would be able to bounce back from this latest heartbreak his Father had suffered, looking to Grace both nodded an understanding of respect and friendship both knowing this would be a hard road for Alex and indeed all the team.