Essay by Tessamac

I never expected to learn something important about myself from FOTR, but Boromir's death haunted my heart.  His confession and Aragorn's reply that he had "fought bravely and kept his honor" puzzled me, for Boromir had, indeed, failed them.

Pondering Aragorn's words, their meaning crept into my heart: people are good and bad together.  Tho' we sometimes fail, it doesn't mean we're failures.

That insight brought emotional healing.  I've felt at fault for difficulties with my mother, guilty for not being with her when she died. A grief counselor didn't help.

But this one thing now I've learned: I've done the best I could with what I had (dear Gandalf!).  After four years the guilt and sorrow have slipped away.

Not long after that discovery I dreamed my mother came to me, hugged and kissed me -- difficult for her while she lived.  But in that twilight moment I realized she suffered from the same human frailties as I.

I've finally been able to forgive myself and mom for being human and move beyond bad memories to good ones lurking behind the grief.  What an unexpected blessing to find deep healing in Middle-earth. Thank you, Peter Jackson, for that gift!