In season 3, when Dean is about to go to hell, his ‘goodbye’ to Sam is a prolong one, it keeps on going for a few episodes , and basically, his death wish is 'Keep fighting, remember what dad taught us, remember what I taught you'
Now, his final words are I am proud of us.
He is no longer a commander, no longer expecting Sam to do things that he would have done, no longer fighting or expecting to fight. He is defeated, but in a way, that brings him peace.
I am proud of us.
Is a little something that comes from the deepest core of Dean Winchester. He wants Sam to remember them as a team, and as a team he is proud of.
In a way, he is closing this era for them, and for Sam, by no longer expecting him to pick up the fight from where Dean left it.
And I think that in those final words, in a way, Dean is ‘letting go’.
The road will be long, and hard, but something inside him, in those final moments, his last struggle to stabilize himself in order to say something to Sam, from all the things he could’ve said, he chose ‘I’m proud of us’
It’s peaceful in a way.
It’s heartbreaking in many.
But this is what they both needed.
Whatever Sam will choose to do now, will be his own choice, and when he will bring Dean back, Dean will know he did this out of love and care and not out of duty.
Gifs credits: sammysnipples (x) , flirtchester (x)