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ALANA GREY-SALVATORE

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ALANA GREY-SALVATORE

The grave is a simple one. Even after all these months, it has not been decorated with love or flowers and the grass around the headstone has not been killed by feet and people sitting on it. It is pristine, damn near untouched by even the elements. It is a simple grave and it belonged to someone not loved by many — none alive, anyways.

I don't want to be here and I do at the same time. I don't think running away from everything that has happened would be the smartest choice. The last year has had so many triumphant moments and yet this grave is a startling reminder that it's also had some heartbreaking tragedies. The kind of tragedy that leaves a pounding hole in your chest where your heart used to be. Without her I would be so cold.

"Alana?" Diana whispers softly and I look to my sister.

Her hair is wild around her head as if it's a lion mane that can't be contained. In the heat, her skin is a deep tan but her cheeks are still naturally blushed and cherried around her grinning smile. I used to be jealous of her, she really was the truly beautiful one out of the two of us. I mean, the true beauty inside and out. She's gotten me through the horror of all of this. "Do you think the flowers are good?"

The plastic around the flowers crinkle in my hands as tears fill my eyes. Diana pulls me to her side and sighs, "I think it's enough."

"Please, he never really thought anything was good enough." Mama mumbles as she rest are on her cane.

I snort, "You're right about that, Mama."

"I'm glad we came," Diana says as she wipes away a tear. The family therapist thought it was best for us to say are goodbyes officially. This is probably the last time we'll be here for a very long time. Plus, Diana didn't get to say goodbye to our father — it eats at me that he died not knowing she was alive.

"Me too, Di." I rest my head on her shoulder. "Worth the long trip."

"Let's sit for a moment." Mama says as she slowly kneels into a sit. We talk to our father together, we spend three hours talking with him and then slowly we leave each other to talk to him separately. I can hear my mother crying and I can't help but wince at that. She was taking his death fairly well, but it had been a long road to get here and we have so much more to go.

"A part of me misses you and hates you all at the same time." I say to my father partly smiling, partly crying, and partly ecstatic that he isn't here anymore. I don't know what he wants me to say to him. I don't know what to say to him, so I say the only thing that he has taught me to say in times like these. "O God, Who has commanded us to honour our father and mother, have compassion in Thy mercy, on the souls of my father; forgive him of his infinite sins, and grant that I may see him in the joy of eternal brightness. Through Christ our Lord.  Amen."

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