He had tried so hard. The Hobbits, Boromir, Gimli, even Legolas had let go. Why couldn't he? No! He had to be strong! With Gandalf gone, it was his duty. But his heart felt as if it must shatter.
At least here, in Lothlorien, he could be alone in safety.
After supper, he had wandered away from his companions; the trees beckoned him. He wandered among the tall silver trunks for a time, eventually coming to a small glade. Drooping limbs interlaced their boughs overhead, forming a kind of cave, a sheltered grotto formed out of living wood and leaves.
The man fell to his knees. His heart was welling up inside his throat, if he did not let it out soon, it would burst.
"Why?" he screamed in anguish, raising his head to the sky, peeking through the trees with a hint of silver starlight. Then he dropped his head and covered his face with his hands. "Why," he moaned again.
"The unanswerable question." A quiet voice broke through his reverie, snapping him back to reality.
He tried to jump up, but his legs would not obey him. He found himself suddenly to weak to do anything except turn his head.
The Lady Galadriel stood at the entrance to his hiding place.
"Let it go," she said. "You know you must."
Aragorn lowered his head miserably. He knew well the healing power of tears. It was one of the healing powers he himself never used.
"Let it go," she repeated, walking nearer. "Cry out your 'whys' and replace them with joyful memories!"
"I cannot," Aragorn said.
"You can. You are simply unwilling to. You fear what you will become if you do. I say to you; I fear what you will become if you do not!"
She gently laid a slender white hand on his trembling shoulder.
"Let it go!"
Then she slipped away into the shadow of the trees, disappearing almost instantly.
Aragorn remained on his knees.
He thought of his friends and loved ones who were dead. He thought of his mother, Gilraen, his father, Arathorn whom he had never known. He thought of his dear friends, Ecthelion, Gandalf, Maethor, and so many others. And as he thought, tears began to roll down his cheeks. The flow increased until he collapsed on the ground, sobbing. He cried until he had no more tears left, then he fell asleep.
It was not a sleep filled with sorrow and remorse, but rather a sleep filled with peace.
Legolas walked through the trees.
He did not know exactly why he had left his companions, he only knew that he had to go and be alone in the forest for a time.
Suddenly, a faint cry reached his ears. Legolas began moving quickly through the trees, following the sound of distress. He soon found a small glade of trees. In the midst of the trees, a figure lay on the ground. It was Aragorn.
Legolas knelt beside his friend, noting his tearstained face, but also the peaceful smile which covered it. He smiled.
"I am glad you too could find peace, mellon nξn," he murmured.
He gently laid his hand on Aragorn's head in blessing, then rose and left the glade. He would tell no one what he had seen.