“Let me give my love to you.
Let me take your hand.
And as we walk in the dimming light
Oh darling understand
That everything ends…” ― Death Cab for Cutie
The most unthinkable thing happened to me today. It’s so tragic. I feel like crying. I’m not sure how it happened, as I thought I had planned it so well, but obviously I didn’t. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to go on, as I feel this huge sense of loss within me. I ran out of Black & Gold Dark Chocolate Covered Licorice. Yes, this is horrible! You see, you can’t find Black & Gold in Toronto. Recently I received four packages of this yummy confectionary, and I paced myself, trying to let it last for a very long time. But I miscalculated, and when I finished the package today, I thought I had one more left, but I don’t. It’s all gone. I don’t know when I will get some more. When I received the licorice, I knew that one day there would be no more, but when something like this sneaks up on you, it sucks big time. And because I’m a thinker, I started doing just that….I began thinking about endings.
Through my enjoyment of Black & Gold, I knew that eventually the day would come when there would be no more. My stash would end. I began thinking about my relationship with this yummy substance, this love affair. As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and so I wanted to know what was so sad about this ending? Sure, I can’t enjoy them anymore, but I sure am happy that I had the chance to. What exactly was making me sad? I used to think that there were two types of endings – either happy ones or sad ones, but really, there are more. What I now think to be the opposite of a happy ending is an unsatisfying ending, as sad endings can be happy ones too. It’s the unsatisfying ones that really cut like a knife, and this is why I’m so distraught.
I must admit, that despite my unhappiness about not having any more Black & Gold, I do like endings. Don’t get me wrong, I love beginnings too, such as a new job, a new love, new home, but nothing has the satisfaction of an ending, whether it be happy or sad. It’s the rawness of the emotions felt which I think people shy away from, or rather, run away from, such as a heart wrenching goodbye, an irreversible fight, and end to a good time. I don’t see endings as being bad. I look at them to mean that something else is about to begin. Room is being made in my life for something else, which could be equally as good, if not better. If you look at it, many things in our life do not really end, they just begin again in a new way, shape or form. For example, I knew for a while that my marriage had to end. It was hard for me to see it, to acknowledge it, and I never thought that I’d be the one to end it. But the relationship with my ex as husband and wife did end, but our relationship has also begun again in a new form, we just play different roles now. I was extremely sad, hurt, angry and distraught when our relationship as husband and wife ended, even though I knew that there was something to look forward to on the other side, a new life for the both of us. I had thought that perhaps we could get along better as non-spouses, and one day we will get there, it will just take time. And when we do, the relationship we have now will also end in order to allow for a new cooperative relationship to begin. But between the beginning and end is the journey. The middle part is where it feels like we are sometimes walking on eggshells, or on tightrope above a flaming wild fire. The middle part is the most important part, where you can grow.
Another thing I noticed is that endings, although they can sneak up on us, we can also see them from a mile away if we allow ourselves to really look at them. For example, we hang onto friendships because of the past, because of the memories, instead of letting them go. We sometimes feel obligated to spend time with these people even though we’d rather spend the night tweezing out leg hairs one by one than go out with them. That relationship should have ended long ago, but we blind ourselves from it. If we allow ourselves to see when something needs to end, there is a great deal of satisfaction to be felt in the ending of it. There is some type of weight which is lifted off of our shoulders, a sense of freedom, such as resigning from an unsatisfactory job.
Ending can also be bitter sweet. An example is when my father was dying. I knew that the day would come when the cancer would take over. I tried to prepare myself the best I could, but you never really can prepare for something like this. As I held his hand while he was in his hospital bed, I can still see clearly in my mind’s eye him taking his last breath. I was distraught at the thought of my father leaving this world, the ending of our physical relationship together. But when I saw him take his last exhale, I remember how beautiful it was to see his spirit soar. The beauty I saw in my father all of his life was not that of his physical body, but rather the presence of his beautiful spirit within him. This ending is what I call a bitter sweet ending, the beauty and sadness all meshed into one; a happy sad ending.
Endings can be seen as closing chapters in your life, in order to begin a new chapter. However, I see it also as a finishing of one of the books of your life. You see, chapters are part of the same story, but new books can be new adventures, new lives. I believe that there is an opportunity to make life the way you want it. Not every ending needs to be sad and heart wrenching. It’s all in how you look at it. Your perception becomes your reality.