Heavy drops of rain hit vigorously against the window as Booth looked out into the cold, darkened sky. On nights like these, he remembered giving her comfort in the warmth of his arms, as he shared his body with hers, intimately, lovingly. A portrait of them on their wedding day sat atop their bedroom dresser. He stared at her picture and lightly traced his finger on the outline of her face. Their years of togetherness flashed quickly before him.
Twenty-five years of wedded bliss, it was so very long ago. They were soul mates, born to love one another. Existence had never been the same after he'd met her. "You're my guiding light, a reason to be me." He told her every chance he could. She was his world, his love.
Never a singer, yet, her voice played in his head of her favorite lullaby as she sung to their twin babies, who were now twenty-four years of age. There were so many memories of her. A knock on the bedroom door, brought Booth back into reality.
"Dad?" Nikki was an image of her mother, she stood at the entrance of the doorway.
"What is it, sweetheart?" His saddened eyes showed the lost of a love one.
"Dinner's ready. And Matthew cooked. Can you believe that? Well, with the help of Auntie Angela. Uncle Jack and Parker are looking over last minute arrangements for tomorrow's...," she stopped.
"Oh, Dad." She hugged her father. "Why did she have to leave us?"
"It was her time. She worried always, that I'd leave her."
"But, it was you she left behind." She took his hand and led him out of the bedroom. "You've got to eat something."
"This is it, huh? I'm not going to make it." Temperance told her husband tiredly. "I don't think I'm coming back like you did for me. I've used up all of my nine lives."
"Is there anything you need?" Booth held his wife's hand.
She smiled. "I have everything I've ever needed. You and the children. We've been through a lot."
He smiled slightly and nodded. "Shh, why don't you rest for now."
"No," she answered weakly. "I need to say a lot of things, so, just please listen. I won't be around for too long. You'll always be in my heart."
Tears rolled down his face.
"Don't cry for me. You've made me a believer in so many things. NDE, Afterlife, Heaven and God. Thank you. You must go on for our children. They'll need you when I'm gone."
"When you're gone...don't leave us...me. Don't leave me."
"Oh, Seely, don't grieve for me. I'll be around. It's just that I'll be hard to see."
"I can't imagine my life without you."
"And I can't imagine my life without you. I wouldn't have been able to handle it. I'm glad I was chosen to be the one to leave. You're a wonderful husband and father. I must have done something right for you to be in my life. Matthew and Parker, I know they'll watch over Nikki. Oh, tell Angela to remind her of monthly breast exams, not to wait until it's too late. You've given me twenty-five wonderful years. I wish there would be more. But, it wasn't meant to be."
"I wish I could give you several years of my life. Thank you for being a part of me. I'll always have our memories of our lives together. Temperance Brennan Booth, you are my everything. I do love you, I always will."
"I know. I love you too, for all the days of my life and beyond."
End Of Flashback
As Booth and the children walked hand in hand to the front of the church, he stopped suddenly, floral arrangements surrounded her. It finally hit him, for today would be the last time they would all be together.
The church was filled with family and friends for the final goodbye. After the priest had conducted the services, Angela walked up to the podium.
"To Seeley and the kids, I promised Temperance I'd do this last request of hers. I sat many days and nights talking to her. And...she wanted me to read this here, hoping it would give you strength. It's a poem, "I Shall", which she composed when she knew...well, let me just read it." She held out her piece of paper.
If I hang on to all of you too closely
It's because I can't bear the thought of leaving you
I may not be able to express my feelings
But, can't you see it in my eyes, what I feel for you
I shall be looking down at you
I shall be missing my family
You are my loves, my greatest treasures
You are the most precious things to me
Farewell, my loves, I may be leaving
But, my love for you is here to stay
I love you all so very much
I will be seeing you one day
When it is your time to join me
I shall be waiting for you
I shall welcome you here in paradise
I shall be saving a place for you
So, for now I bid you goodbye
Until we meet again in eternity
I shall welcome you with open arms
"Here I am, you are finally home with me"
There were soft sobs throughout the church. Booth buried his face in his hands. Nikki and Matthew hung on to each other.
At the gravesite services, Booth ran his fingers across her marbled casket and laid a single pink rose atop it. "One final moment before you leave," he said. He pressed his lips on her cold hard coffin. "A kiss for you, honey."
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there
I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond that glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain
I am the song that never end
I am the love of family and friends
I am the child who has come to rest
In the arms of the father who knows me best
Do not sand at my grave and weep
I am not there
I do not sleep
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there
I did not die
Rose petals were dropped atop her casket as she was lowered into the ground. Booth blew a kiss to the one person he has ever loved. "Until we meet again. You're my guiding light, Tempe, give me hope to carry on."
Author's Note: I Shall by AJeff
Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye