Epilogue: Immortal Beloved
The white sands of the beach were cool and crunched pleasantly under the feet of the two elderly hobbits as they walked along the shoreline. The stars glowed bright above them and gentle breaking of waves on land was the only sound that could be heard on the night air. The two old friends said nothing but let the smell of the sea, the feel of the sand under their feet, and the touch of the breezes against their flesh soothe their senses.
They had not gone far when they saw that there was someone else sharing the salt-laden breezes and sparkling stars with them. Elrond was on the beach as well. He was lying on the sand with his black hair fanned out about him like a skein of ebony silk.
He sat up when he saw that hobbits and looked at them with sadness and sympathy in his gray eyes. With a touch of gentle humor in his voice, he said, "It seems that hobbits move quietly enough to elude even elven senses. From your manner, I think that Sam may have brought some news from Middle Earth that was unfortunate. If you wish, you can tell me about it or we can just sit here and look at the stars."
The old hobbits sat down next to the elf lord and told him, in brief and simple terms, of the tale Sam had brought. After that, they let the sound of the waves resume its rightful place of precedence.
One tear rolled down Elrond's cheek and briefly reflected the starlight. He put his arms around the shoulders of the hobbits and said, "It is hard to bear such separation. Yet, those beloved to us will be immortal in our hearts and minds and it may be that, many ages from now at the end of all things, we will be reunited with them. That is a hope I cling to."
The elf and hobbits remained on the beach for a very long time and did not speak but thought of all those they had loved and lost.