Me Before You

Me Before You Chapter 26 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Lou narrates again and starts to throw her things in a bag for Switzerland. Treena offers to drive her to the airport but their parents are waiting in front of the door. Josie refuses to let Lou have anything to do with Will’s choice at Dignitas, arguing that caring for Granddad has taught her that all life is precious. Lou tells Josie that this is her choice, and Will’s choice, and that she is going to Switzerland no matter what anyone says. Josie tells her to go to Switzerland and not to bother coming back after committing murder. Josie then leaves the room. Bernard hesitates, then tosses Treena the keys to the van and tells Lou to hurry.
Treena supports her sister unconditionally, but Lou’s parents are less able to put aside their own beliefs in order to be there for their daughter. Lou has to finally let go of her family in order to be true to herself and what she needs to do. Lou very carefully asserts that the right choice for Will is not the right choice for everyone in compromised health—a defense that, in speaking of her story’s outcome, Moyes has had to make as well.
Themes
Ambition and Achievement Theme Icon
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Quality of Life Theme Icon
Treena careens through the streets, babbling that Josie will come around just like she did when Treena came home with the news that she was pregnant. Lou just double checks her passport and prays that she will get to the airport in time. After breaking numerous traffic laws, Treena gets Lou to the gate and Lou takes off with Swiss Air. Lou arrives in Zurich at midnight and stays at a hotel, preparing to see the Traynors the next morning. She wonders why Camilla even called her here. Finally, morning comes and Lou gets up to go to the clinic.
Lou has to sacrifice her mother’s good opinion in order to go meet Will, while Treena potentially “sacrifices” her good driving record in order to support her sister. This trip is the ultimate show of love for Lou. Though she questions why the Traynors invited her here, Lou knows that coming to Switzerland means accepting Will’s decision and loving him unconditionally.
Themes
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Quality of Life Theme Icon
Lou waits in the hotel lobby for the car that Camilla sent to take her to the clinic. She notices an open computer and logs on to the online chat room where she talks to Ritchie. Ritchie has nothing but sympathy for Lou, though he himself would never make the choice that Will is making, and reminds Lou that their friendship will continue even after Lou no longer needs advice for Will. The car arrives and Lou says goodbye to Ritchie.
Ritchie again presents the view that the right to die is a very specific choice to Will, rather than the natural desire of everyone in Will’s situation. Ritchie also reminds Lou that she has support outside of Will, so that she can continue to follow her dreams after Will is gone.
Themes
Ambition and Achievement Theme Icon
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Quality of Life Theme Icon
The Dignitas clinic looks like an ordinary house, and Will looks like he is staying at a bed and breakfast when Lou makes it into his room. Lou sees Will and, despite all the anger and hurt of the last couple days, is glad and relieved that she came. Will asks his family to give him and Lou a private moment. Camilla and Steven step out, dragging Georgina reluctantly with them.
Lou assigned so much importance to this clinic, but the actual appearance is not that of an inhumane hospital. The clinic recognizes the humanity of the people who make this choice.
Themes
Quality of Life Theme Icon
Fitness Theme Icon
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Will thanks Lou for finally accepting the only thing he has control over in his life. Lou fights back her tears and just says that she missed him. Lou goes to sit on the bed next to Will at Will’s invitation and rests her head on Will’s chest. Will asks Lou to tell him something good, and Lou spins a love story of two people who found each other despite impossible odds – the story of their life together and all the things that Will taught her. Lou admits that this has been the best six months of her life, and Will agrees. Lou starts to sob.
Lou is able to give Will this choice even though it hurts her. Everything about this last visit is at Will’s decision, up to where Lou sits and what Lou talks about. He is finally able to control his life and his surroundings by choosing to end his life. Yet even though Will has had an amazing, adventurous life, his experiences with Lou were still the most meaningful because of their emotional connection.
Themes
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Quality of Life Theme Icon
Will asks Lou to look up at him and she struggles to regain her composure. When she finally looks up, Will’s eyes look clear and relaxed. He seems to be committing Lou’s face to memory, and Lou kisses him with all the emotion she has left. Lou holds Will, wondering how she will find the strength to live all of the adventures he wants for her after Will is gone. After some time, Will smiles an apology to Lou and asks her to call his parents back in.
Will and Lou are able to share a genuine moment after they are honest about what they each want. Lou’s love for Will both causes her immense pain in this moment and gives her the strength to be there for Will in these last moments.
Themes
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon