"I am sorry," said Éowyn suddenly.
"For what?" asked Faramir. He was sitting in a chair beside their bed, in which Éowyn was lying. It was their morning routine: after their morning meal they would return to their bedchamber, Éowyn would rest in the bed, and Faramir would sit beside her, reading to her and holding her withered hands. This routine started only few weeks before, when old age seemed to suddenly assail the White Lady with full force. Since then she had often been too weary to even go to her garden. The healers could not offer any cure, not even the wisest of them, the King Elessar. It is old age, they said, the only thing that the leech-craft of Gondor could not master.
"For going before you," she said. "You have suffered enough losses."
Faramir smiled. "So have you, best beloved. Do not be sorry. I am content."
Éowyn closed her eyes. She felt weary though it was not even noon.
Faramir caressed her tresses. Éowyn smiled. Her golden tresses were long gone, but her lord had never changed his habit of caressing her.
"Are you going to sleep now?" he asked.
She nodded without opening her eyes. She felt so weary.
"Sleep well," said Faramir. "I will read again when you wake."
About an hour later Éowyn stirred. She pressed Faramir's hand to let him know that she was awake. Somehow she felt an urge to speak to him.
"You wake so soon. Is it because of the wind? Perhaps I should close the window." He rose but Éowyn held his hand to stay him.
She looked at him intently and said softly, "I am going to sleep soon."
Then Faramir understood. The grace to choose the hour of death may only be given to the kings of Númenor, but the ability to sense the coming of that hour is given to many.
"Shall I call the children now?" Their children and their families had gathered in the Prince's house in Emyn Arnen since the week before.
So Éowyn said farewell to her children and grandchildren, and some of her closest servants. There were many tears, but there was also laughter, for they had enjoyed many joyful years together. And they all knew that the White Lady was at last weary and passing would be a release for her.
At last Faramir and Éowyn were again alone in their bedchamber. Faramir knelt beside the bed and kissed her. "Sleep well, White Lady. I shall go to you when my time comes."
"Do not be long in coming, my lord," said Éowyn. Then with a teasing smile she added, "If Gondor can spare you, that is."
Faramir laughed. Then he lay besides Éowyn and enclosed her in his arms. Long they lay in silence, their breaths the only sound that was heard.
After some time Faramir could only hear his own breath. He continued to embrace her for a while. Then he rose and went out to break the sad news to his household.