Finduilas, wife of Denethor, Steward of Gondor, dies young
Event Type: Genealogical
Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards
She was a lady of great beauty and gentle heart, but before twelve years had passed she died. Denethor loved her, in his fashion, more dearly than any other, unless it were the elder of the sons that she bore him. But it seemed to men that she withered in the guarded city, as a flower of the seaward vales set upon a barren rock. The shadow in the east filled her with horror, and she turned her eyes ever south to the sea that she missed.
The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion
Denethor succeeded to the Stewardship in 2984.... His "grimness" was first observable to others after his wife Finduilas died in 2988, but it seems fairly plain that he had at once turned to the Stone as soon as he came to power, having long studied the matter of the palantíri and the traditions regarding them....
Unfinished Tales, Part 4, Ch 3, The Palantíri
The use of the palantíri was a mental strain, especially on men of later days not trained to the task, and no doubt in addition to his anxieties this strain contributed to Denethor's "grimness." It was probably felt earlier by his wife than by others and increased her unhappiness, to the hastening of her death. [Author's note.]
Unfinished Tales, Part 4, Ch 3, The Palantíri: Notes, Note 13
added quotes: Elena Tiriel 19Sep04