When Elros made his decision, Elrond thought of how many weeks they still had together—many moments, many heartbeats, many walks in the garden. The land will change before my brother dies, he thought, and even then, “dies” and “Elros” were not compatible; they were laughable, side by side like that.
But as the sea wore upon the shore, so Time wore upon Elros, lining his face and touching his hair with silver while Elrond remained youthful, an image they’d once shared. Suddenly, though, looking at Elros, he no longer saw himself; it was like looking into a mirror with a warped glass. Looking at Elros, Elrond felt a leap of fearful disconnect: That is not me!
No, it is him. He is dying.
The sea reshaped the shore, eroded the cliffs where the gulls built their nests, and Elros stood with his gnarled hands in Elrond’s and the ship behind him. The sky was swollen with portends of rain. Even his voice, when he spoke, was malformed by age: “I will see you next year.”
And Elrond let Elros’ hand slip from his without a word. The waves crashed upon the shore; each droplet making infinitesimal erosions--then collapse.