Lots of stories have tragic endings. I've only read a few of them. For me, two stand out: "The Pearl" and "Lord Jim".

At the end of The Pearl, Kino and his wife have lost their own child who was shot dead by those wishing to steal the pearl, and they return to their home where Kino finally throws the pearl back into the sea. I liked how the author described their shadows as two towers of darkness ahead of them, symbolizing their darkest times are ahead while their brightest days are behind them.

The final chapter of "Lord Jim" continues on from the death of Jim's friend Dain Warris who is killed by the pirate Brown and his men as a result of Cornelius' betrayal. Brown who had been promised a safe escape path by Jim breaks his word by slaughtering Dain and his party, sealing Jim's fate. Now knowing he can never truely escape his past moment of failure on the Patna earlier in the book, Jim decides not to defend himself or flee. Ignoring his own wife's pleas, he goes to Doramin, Dain's father and allows the grieving father to shoot and kill him.

What was the most tragic endings you ever read?