"We are here today to honor..." I tried to listen to the priest as he droned on about his mother but I was distracted. My mind was elsewhere. The words of the priest barely registered as I focused on what lay ahead. It was hard for me to accept mom had died. In fact, it felt so unreal it scared me. I didn't want to let go. But it wasn't like I had any say in the matter. I couldn't bring back the dead. I played with my fingernails as the priest went on to list all the good deeds she did for the church and the people around her. It made it hard to even breathe. She was a good person. She didn't deserve what fate she got.

Matthan squeezed my hand in comfort. A gesture I appreciated in ways he wouldn't even understand. He looked over at me and said in a gentle voice, "You ok?"

I nodded but didn't feel much better. The only difference was I could stomach it better.

Clay stepped out to give his speech. It was long. It was also difficult for him to go through it all without bursting i

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