Earlier today, I heard the awful news: Today, on April 19, 2011, Elisabeth Sladen died of complications from cancer at the age of 63. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends in this hard time. She was a wonderful actress, and from what I've heard, an amazing person too.
1 February 1948 – 19 April 2011
She will be sorely missed
I only take the best.
That's what he had told her, all that time ago when she first stepped on board the TARDIS, looking around with amazement. Therefore, she wasn't surprised when he received a call on the TARDIS phone. She was surprised when he crumpled to the ground, his eyes suspiciously blurry.
"Doctor! What's wrong?" she yelled, rushing to him, Rory close behind. He too had heard the bell.
The Doctor shook his head, motioning for them to leave. Amy refused, and instead dropped to sit next to him. They sat in silence for a while, until the Doctor rose and wiped his eyes.
"If you'll forgive me, Amy, I'm going to need to make a couple of unexpected stops today," he said quietly, his gaze fixed on the ground. Amy, still having no idea what had happened and very curious, agreed. Whatever he had heard on that phone must have really upset him.
He flipped a couple of levers and typed something on the typewriter. A couple of bumps and a big crash later, they had landed. The Doctor looked at Amy and Rory and murmured, "You can come too, if you want."
They followed close behind, sensing something was horribly wrong. They had parked outside of what looked to be a normal-looking church, nothing special.
"When are we?" Rory asked.
"April 25, 2011," The Doctor said, still looking intently at the building. "I'm here to say…goodbye…to an old friend of mine. A very, very dear friend."
It suddenly dawned on Amy and Rory. Someone he knew had died.
They quietly stole into the cemetery in the back, which was filled with people, most of them bearing a sad look or quietly weeping. All except three people in the front near the coffin were wearing black; the other three, two teenage boys and a girl, were wearing pure white.
Amy and Rory awkwardly looked around, not knowing anyone. They didn't even really know what they were doing here, truth be told, except to give support to the Doctor.
"We celebrate the long and prosperous life of Sarah Jane Smith, a beloved mother, daughter, and friend. She will be forever remembered, and forever loved. Farewell, Miss Smith."
The coffin was slowly lowered into the ground. Amy stole a glance at the Doctor to find with astonishment that he was crying. The Doctor never cried.
After the service was over, Amy and Rory hung back while the Doctor went up to the fresh mound of earth.
"Goodbye, Sarah. I told you I only take the best. Don't tell anyone, but you were my favorite. Thought you'd like to know." He was forcing himself to talk casually, as if he was talking to her face and not her grave.
He read the inscription on the new gravestone, not yet in the ground, but lying just to the side.
Sarah Jane Smith
1 February 1948 – 19 April 2011
Beloved Mother, Daughter, and Friend
Not even the stars are the limit for this amazing woman
That did it. She was really dead. Sarah had been like his best friend, like his daughter. She had lit up his world with her spunk and wit, and she had never been afraid to call him out. There was only one person like Sarah Jane, and that was Sarah Jane.
"Goodbye, Sarah Jane." He sniffed, wiping his eyes. He turned on his heel and walked towards the TARDIS, not even acknowledging Amy and Rory as they hurried to keep up with him.
He entered the TARDIS at a fast clip, navigating through the confusing passageways of the inner TARDIS to a doorway he hadn't looked at in years. It was very simple; off-white with a flying dove. He hovered indecisively in the doorway for a moment, then stepped into the room.
A single bed with a blue coverlet took up a corner of the room, while a dresser and mirror occupied another corner. Two tall bookshelves full of books bordered each side of the doorway. Pictures hung all around the walls. Pictures of a brunette girl and a crazy looking curly-haired man in a scarf, ones of the same girl and a more composed man in a grey jacket. In all of them, she was beaming, her smiles lighting up the room.
One small picture, added just three years ago, lay on the bed. A mad-looking man in a pinstriped suit and converse was hugging an older, but unmistakably the same woman: Sarah Jane. That had been the last time he had seen her, just after they had saved the earth together.
The Doctor's eyes darted around, drinking in all the pictures and reliving the memories.
He finally sighed and turned, leaving the room. He gently shut the door behind him, locking it.
"I only take the best."
There you go. I hope I did this amazing actress justice.