Debating whether or not to forcibly remove her from the area, George and Ray caught hold of a sight that left each other profoundly affected weeks later. As each began to walk towards Malibu, they observed a heavy mist hovering over the closed casket for a minute or two, and then slowly descend until it seemed to be next to the casket.
It seemed to take the appearance of a slightly older female, which then knelt down very close to Malibu. Rubbing her back and neck, the spirit was whispering in her ear for what seemed to be an extremely long time. Gradually Malibu relaxed her grip on the casket and silent sat back down on the floor.
The spirit then moved to the front of Malibu and seemed to grab her face and stroke her hair. Whispering a few more words to her, she then gave her a kiss on the cheek and waved goodbye. She then turned around to take a good long look at all the people in attendance and with a tear in her eye, vanished back to where she might have arrived from.
After the spirit had vanished, George and Ray carefully walked over to check on Malibu to see if she was alright. After being helped to her feet, she gave both of them a hug, a peck on the cheek and a gentle slap on the face. Strangely serene, she said, "Goodbye, for now." walked outside, got in her car and took off for home, never to be seen again in the public eye.
As for George and Ray, they finished helping Wanda with the receiving line for the next two days, before paying their final respects on the last day and heading home. To this day, they swear on a stack of bibles that the spirit was indeed Azalea, coming back to help calm down a close friend on the verge of a mental meltdown.
As for Walter, he never did completely recover from his head injuries. A month after his wife's funeral, he was released from the hospital, aged way more than he actually was. Going to the cemetery to pay his last respects, he was for the most part, a broken man.
Both sides of the family became united in their intense dislike of him, believing that he had contributed to the untimely death of Azalea. His ex barely spoke to him, and then only when absolutely necessary. His children despised him and for all intents and purposes, disowned him. Even the woman the he was seeing on the side at the time of his wife's death wanted nothing more to do with him.
Dispirited, he became more sullen and withdrawn, until finally he became a complete eccentric, hiding away from the public in his house. Paranoid, filthy and discontented, Walter also became engulfed in a gargantuan case of writer's block. So huge and consuming was this writer's block, that by the time we meet him eighteen months later, his output had dribbled down to nothing and he was going off on one of his thrice daily tangents about it....