Endings and new beginnings

1962628_10152709152298849_1352050072_nThere is a sadness in endings, end of the school year, a holiday, end of a relationship, or job. The endings of life events, like childhood, first love, marriage, retirement, death. They are all occassions where it feels allowed to be sad, sometimes deeply so. There are so many endings during a life, that sometimes it seems to be ongoing and ongoing, piling up sadness upon sadness and grief. Sometimes it feels like there is no time to breathe in between endings, creating a lump in the throat, a stone in the stomach, a veil over the eyes.

And then, for a while, there are no endings, no sadnesses, no grief, and I realise that no endings means no new beginnings. There are no transitions, within which to rediscover, re-decide, restart. And I find this creates sadness as well, one that is quite fearful. It is understandable to be sad about endings, but is it understandable to be sad over not having endings or new beginnings?

During endings there seems to be a permission to feel, to defragment, and forgive. It is the moment where I can cry hugging a friend, or tell a colleague ‘thank you for all you’ve done for me’, without the fear that they might think I want something from them. It’s where there is the space to think ‘I’ve chosen to be an architect, but I actually really want to be a tattoo artist (or a body piercer, as I thought 4 years ago… don’t know what happened there… ). During the unraveling of the connections is when I no longer feel just the hands and strings that held me up in my place and position, but the actual sensation of my own two feet, firmly on the ground.

The endings where we have to say goodbye to people, out of choice or because we have to, are different.  There is a deeper sadness over losing a person who means something, or even everything to us.  The cruelty of moving on, having to move on without someone. But in that sadness, there is the permission to feel and maybe even show appreciation and gratitude. As we disconnect, we also become aware of how and where we connected, and although the letting go can feel like ripping, shredding, tearing, the former intertwinement of the two lives is also revealed. There has to be something there, some comfort, something beautiful.

Maybe that’s why I like rituals around endings; goodbye drinks, hugs, tears, songs, talks, they are good, sad and good. For me the appreciation, gratitude and genuine awareness of connections make goodbyes bearable. Endings are sad moments, with feelings of loss and grief, but to realise the beauty of what is lost, can sometimes make me feel like I will never really lose these experiences, lessons and loving relationships. I might have disconnected from the source, but I remember and will never be the same.