The Departure of Samwise - Told in letters from Mistress Elanor to King Elessar

September 28, 1482 (by Shire reckoning)
The Undertowers, Tower Hills, Westmarch, the Shire


To my Lord Elessar:

I fear that it is my unwelcome duty to inform you of the passing from this world of my mother, Rose Gamgee, and also of my father's growing restlessness and failing health. On the twenty-second of this month, my father ceded Bag End to my brother, Frodo, and left Hobbiton, seemingly forever.

Even though my father is not of Elvish descent, I fear that the Sea-longing is upon him. For as long as I can remember, he has always looked to the West with longing in his eyes. He has longed to be united with his Mister Frodo for all of these long years, since the day Mister Frodo stepped upon his ship to the West. Even though I know that my father loved my mother, his children, and the Shire, I know also that he regretted not leaving Middle-earth with Mister Frodo.

Just yesterday, my father arrived here, unannounced. Do not misunderstand me; my father is always welcome in my home, but his coming was surprising, though not wholly unexpected. Fastred and I had been expecting him to come sometime soon, though we had not guessed the exact date.

My father is on his way to the Grey Havens, to leave Middle-earth forever and be reunited with his Mister Frodo. I fear, however, that his strength will not last long enough to finish his journey. Since my mother's death on Mid-year's Day, my father's health has begun to fail him. Even now, he is lying abed, unable to stand of his own accord. My father is old, my Lord. I do not think he will ever be reunited with Mister Frodo in the lands of the living. I fear that his sick bed will soon become his death bed.

I hold no illusions that you will travel to see my father again before his departure, whichever way he leaves us. I just wish to inform you of these events so that you will not be surprised if this news reaches you through other means.

I thank you for your time, my Lord. I bid good health to you and yours.


Sincerely,
Elanor Gamgee-Fairbairn


*.*.*.*.*

October 2, 1482 (by Shire reckoning)
The Undertowers, Tower Hills, Westmarch, the Shire


To my Lord Elessar:

I do not know if you have received my previous letter, but if you have, please pay it no heed. My father did not wake this morning. Sometime during the night, his spirit finally left his body.

I am happy for my father. If Mister Frodo no longer lives (which is more likely than his still being among the living), then he and my father are now reunited, along with my mother. Although I should be mourning, I am not grieved by my father's death. He is now free from the pain, guilt, and grief that has plagued him these last few months.

My children cry for his passing, as do their children. I do not think they understand how this should be a joyful occasion. My father lived a long and productive life, which should be celebrated at this time. Because of this reason, I did not cry for my mother, and I will not cry for my father, only celebrate their lives, both separately and together.

No one but my family knows of my father's passing, and I would like to keep it that way. My father told me once that there will always be a ship awaiting him at the Havens and I intend that they not wait forever. In less than an hour, Fastred and I will take my father to the Havens, where he will take a ship to the Undying Lands. He was meant to go there, and so he shall.

Please, my Lord, I ask you to keep this information to yourself. It will not even be written about in the Red Book, which my father gave to me upon his arrival here, except that Samwise Gamgee, last of the Ring-bearers, took his leave from his daughter and traveled to the Grey Havens, where he took a ship to the Undying Lands. No one else needs to know that he was not able to make it there in life. The only point that matters is that he made it there.

I will miss my father terribly, but I know the Elves will tend to his body with all due and proper respect. I only regret that I will never be able to visit his grave, as I can with my mother's. I know it is only their bodies buried under the ground, not their essence, but it is all that I have left of them now.

I apologize for letting my thoughts wander, my Lord. It is something that seems to be happening more and more often, as of late. Once again, I bid good health to you and yours.

Sincerely,
Elanor Gamgee-Fairbairn


*.*.*.*.*

March 25, 1483 (by Shire reckoning)
The Undertowers, Tower Hills, Westmarch, the Shire


To my Lord Elessar:

I thank you for you and the Lady Arwen's condolences after my father's death last autumn. My children and grandchildren truly appreciated them as well. I thank you also for keeping secret the truth of my father's death. I know it is not right to deceive my siblings like I am, but I am just trying to spare them the grief that accompanies the death of a parent. They are grieved enough, only knowing that Father left Middle-earth. I could not add to their pain.

I would also like to thank you for the invitation to visit Minas Tirith for the annual celebrations, but your letter arrived only just yesterday, and there was no possible way that my husband and I could have gotten to the city for the festivals. However, if the invitation is still open, I would very much like to visit the city this autumn with my husband and maybe our youngest daughter.

I must apologize for the length of this letter, but I must go now and finish preparations for my family's trip to Hobbiton. My niece, who just came of age earlier this year, is to be wed in one week's time, and I must be there to help with the preparations. Farewell, my Lord, and good health to you and yours.

Sincerely,
Elanor Gamgee-Fairbairn

The End

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