I Will Be With You

by Orangeblossom Took

The air was cool and crisp and the sun was bright in the blue sky above a gleaming white city. The tall, dark-haired man walking to the tomb of the Stewards thought that is was a fitting day for, although his task was one that could bring sorrow, it could also be comforting.

Eve though he had less reason than most for following this autumnal custom, he decided to do it this year. He had been so busy leading the rebuilding of Osiligarth and with his new bride, who made him smile just to think of her, that he had not seen his native city since the coronation of the king.

Faramir walked toward the tomb of the Stewards with a basket full of the last of the autumn roses; yellows and whites, pinks and reds. Beregil followed him with a bucket of soapy water and a rag. The loyal guard had a look of consternation on his face.

“My lord,” he said, “are you sure this is a good idea? Lord Boromir does not lie here and there are only the worst of memories for you in there.”

The Prince of Ithilien sighed and replied, “Your concern is appreciated, Beregil, but I need to do this. King Elessar caused a monument to be erected in Boromir’s memory, even if his body does not lie within. I have not seen it. Also, my mother does lie here, though it has been many years since her passing. I know you are afraid to leave my side but please wait outside while I pay my respects.”

“As you will, my Lord,” said Beregil, “but King and Wizard bade me to look after you and guard you, I take that to mean guarding you from any harm, and I take reliving that pyre as dire harm. Right outside the door is as far as I go.”

Faramir took the bucket in his free hand and Beregil held the door for him as he entered this city of the dead. The scorch marks had been cleaned away and the stench of burnt flesh was long gone. Fresh flowers adorned many tombs and the smell of incense was in the air. Today was a day to honor the dead.

Boromir’s monument was placed near their mother’s tomb. A tree etched in silver with a trumpeter on either side was carved on the white marble. His mother had lilies and swans on her grave.

His father had no tomb here. As a suicide and a would-be murderer, Aragorn would not allow him to rest on sacred ground. He noticed that his hands had started trembling and he thought he could smell burning over the flowers and incense, then he remember what Eowyn had told him before he left.

She said, “If you must do this love, think fondly of your mother and of Boromir. Talk to them, sing to them. That is what the Rohirrim do at the graves of our loved ones. They are always with you. Talk to them and they will hear you.”

So, he talked to Boromir first. He told him about Eowyn. “You would like her, brother. You would say she has spirit.” He told him about rebuilding and about how much he missed him.

Strangely, once he started talking to Boromir, he did not feel sad and his hands stopped shaking. He felt as if his brother was standing there beside him, replying to him and about to grab him up in a bear hug and say, “I missed you too, little brother.” He remember Boromir’s laugh and the way his eyes twinkled when he told a joke and the way he always poured salt on his food before even tasting it.

Faramir remembered something Pippin had told him. Hobbits sang and danced and drank after a funeral. He thought Pippin had called it a “Wake” and the Hobbit had sung him a silly tune about a drop of spirits falling on the supposed corpse and waking him up. Hobbits even danced around waving their handkerchiefs. There was a less jocular song Pippin taught him about the fading of day and Faramir sang it as he scrubbed the family tombs.