This was not my originally intended chapter, however I felt I must share this. For my grandmother, who has been dying painfully of cancer for some time, I can't help but feel afraid. And for my grandfather, I can only imagine what he is feeling. I worry, and I fear, and I pray... I thought perhaps Denethor felt something similar, so I put thoughts down in writing, and felt it must be shared. And also, what my fiance told me tonight, that love always outweighs the burden.

So, for my grandmother, and any who wish read, I give you Denethor's chapter. I hope to continue writing soon, but currently I don't know what exactly is going to happen in until then, please enjoy...

Denethor ambled down the hall, memories clashing through his mind in mild turmoil. He and Faramir had always knocked heads, always. Was it because they were too much alike in the wrong ways, not enough alike in the right ones? Because he was so much like her….Finduilas….oh Finduilas….

He remembered all too well when he had lost Finduilas. He had sat with her all that night, watching, waiting, praying to whomever might be listening; not his Finduilas. Had his heart ever beat more strongly with love for her, or felt so wretched with the fear of losing her? And oh when she was gone, the wretched feeling only grew, how that aching feeling had consumed him. He remembered how he felt that day…

Love? What exactly was love? He used to believe it was eternal happiness, an amazing peace and joy that he felt with her. But now…it was just an empty feeling. Was love, whatever love is, worth all this pain, this horrible loss? How can, at one moment, life be so full of joy, and at another…was there a word for how he felt? Sad, no, so much more than sad, lonely…no, that wasn't it. Empty, he felt empty, to the core.

How could he ever love again, knowing the feeling of this horrible loss, knowing that it would only come to this in the end? How could he let himself become attached, only to be ripped away….without a goodbye… there was this emptiness inside of him that could never be filled. He would not suffer himself to love, not like before. He could love his city, his home, oh he could love Gondor forever, he could love that which they defended, he could love war, the feel of battle raging around him, as adrenaline surged through him. But to love a person…no, a person could be taken away too easily. There would always be more battles to wage, a city to protect…but a life, a fragile, human life?

Then there were his sons. Boromir was strong, a likeness to himself when he was younger. He had heard Boromir crying at night, alone in his room. But never in public. Faramir on the other hand, he was so young, too young. He barely understood, he was always moping about, sniffling, crying. When would he grow up, learn? He would not shower him with hugs and kisses, no! He had to be taught to be strong, keep his chin up. He is still young, but that merely means he is at an impressionable age. But he will learn, even if I must be hard on him. I love him so…but how can I after this?

Many would argue that during times like these we should be strong, for each other, always stay close. But that's the problem! Being close means risking the pain, the loss…how could he go through that loss? Didn't those idiots at court see that? That is was because how close he had been to her, how dearly he had loved her, that he felt the pain this strongly, that he kept to himself, pushed his sons away? When would they see that it was love that was the problem?

He had loved her so much, so very much. How could anything ever be worth this much pain though? This sort of ache, he knew, would never go away. It would stay there, deep in his heart, wearing away at him, never letting him forget, with each and every beat, how much he hurt, how deep the pain ran. There would be no relief, he would weep his bitter tears, continue life alone…..alone. Would this empty feeling never leave him?

Why? Why did she have to leave him, with a city to rule, a country to protect, two boys to raise…..why? He couldn't do this on his own. How was he to raise two sons, when he couldn't handle his own feelings? He felt he could no longer love? There was always encouragement that he could offer, remind them always of their duty to the city, before themselves, he could be strong; for them. But could he love them? Really love them? Faramir…always reaching out for a hug, he feels the loss too. Can I be there for him, be two parents for him….? Love him, as two parents…? The pain, the loss…… no….it's just too much….

Denethor leaned against a pillar and sighed. How long it had been since he had last dwelled on those thoughts. How had they surfaced so suddenly? How had trying to teach Faramir to be strong turned to pushing him away? When had his loss, this feeling of never loving again turned to such bitterness? He recalled the last few years. They barely felt like sons to him…just pawns, like himself…in this huge game of life.

A grain of sand, tossed in the ever churning ocean, swirled in the relentless waters of the sea, dashed upon the rocks, and finally, washed ashore, put on display upon the glorious white beaches, only to be swept back to sea, a small insignificant grain of sand, lost, forgotten forever more. A simple grain of sand in the vast, vast sea. How small he felt, tiny, inconsequential. Life….what was life? Fragile. A chance for happiness, sadness, a menagerie of feelings, what would tomorrow bring? A smile, a frown, hope…despair? When had love become so lost? How had he drifted away so far, let the emptiness rule? Because of her, Finduilas, his love, his loss….this thing…..called life. How did it come to this?

Clearly he was missing something, he felt it in his heart, a different kind of ache. There had to be something more, something more to life. Something that made the pain worthwhile. How could he know? He had shut himself away all these years, afraid of knowing all along. Did the good truly outweigh the bad? Was the love worth the loss?

I know, mostly ramblings, its hard to organize my thoughts right now. But the story will continue...if you guys want me to...