Friday, May 25, 2012

When Dreading that Ending Feeling


Finishing a semester of study had us all contemplating the future. The group was being disbanded, and some would flow on into the next semester, but some would inevitably drop out or leave town. One member of the group had had a spark of inspiration to bring along some muffins and chocolates to share. Some of the group were saddened by thought of the end, but most were quite cheery, and some even took risks in communicating their love and fondness for the group and their experiences.
Endings can be difficult things. Certainly, endings to marriages and certain outcomes relating to appointments can end badly. Death is the worst end of all.
But some endings are welcome. For some, the end paves the way for an important beginning. New things are allowed to emerge. New possibilities lie available.
Endings bring both death and life. Most of all they bring change.
What Kind Of Ending Person Am I?
Perhaps the best opportunity we have in approaching an important end is our observation of how we feel about such a thing.
Some endings, where our lives are literally blown open to the exposure of harsh winds and driving rain, cannot be reflected upon, just simply endured. The process of grief, through the paralysis of an ending, takes us to stark places of the spirit that may even be unbearable. No analysis is required in such a situation. We must just be.
But there are many more endings that we can learn from, and that may give us an appreciation for what things have meant to us. Sometimes we haven’t reflected enough to understand. The ending, therefore, might facilitate an important revelation.
The ending might compel us to communicate something special or significant. The ending might cause us to risk just enough to tell someone how we really feel. The ending, strictly from hindsight, might be seen as a crucial step in our lives.
Endings, furthermore, can be seen as a necessary function in the development of skills in the letting go so we may acquire the new thing.
The problem comes when a good thing has ended and it is to be replaced by a not-so-good thing. Then we struggle with a sense of hopelessness. Sometimes we cannot see the good beyond the thing we must let go of. But it’s surprising how often our pessimism might betray the reality.
As one door slams closed new doors are destined to open. This is when faith is necessary. To hope for something yet not visible. Endings, therefore, help to enliven our faith, by giving us the opportunity to practice hope.
***
Endings can be dreadfully hard. At the end we struggle to find sight for hope. Yet, the end is an opportunity for a new beginning. When we are ready a new path may be paved.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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