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  • Fe Robinson

Why endings matter

Sometimes it is hard to say goodbye. It can be very upsetting when something of value comes to an end, and you have to face it no longer being in your life.

Endings are not just about death. They can be the end of a job, a relationship, a regular social activity, of school runs. Anything that is a regular feature in life that then ceases to be is an ending, and they all matter psychologically to differing degrees, depending on the individual.

The pain of endings lets us know that we have loved and appreciated. Big pain reflects big love. Little pain, less love. We do not mourn things to which we are not attached.

It may at times feel easier to let things end without acknowledging the loss to yourself, or to the others involved where the ending involves other people. However, this comes at a cost.

Grieving is a natural process that occurs over time. It has many stages and can’t much be hurried, it unfolds as it unfolds.

The first step of grieving is acknowledging and facing that an ending has happened, or is about to. One way of doing this is to mark the ending, to make it real. A final conversation, a ceremony, a celebration, reminiscing and sharing stories, the planting of a tree, the writing of a letter...endings can be honoured in many, many ways. What fits each individual situation will vary.

Psychologically, it seems in my experiencing of it that the important aspect of finding peace with an ending is allowing an embodied experience of it to yourself and those you care about. Denying it, minimising it or avoiding it do not allow this, and they store up the grief and pain for a later date, unprocessed in your system and there to pop up when you next suffer a loss.

When things change, be kind to yourself. Let yourself feel all the emotions, the pleasure of new beginnings and the poignancy of what is ending. Life will be richer for it.


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