chapter  10
18 Pages

Different kinds of endings

The end of term, the end of a school year; the temporary or permanent end of an important relationship, the end of school, childhood, youth; bereavement and the end of our life-all these situations in varying degrees confront us with the experience of loss. We have to come to terms with losing what has sustained and supported us and those whom we have needed, loved and depended on. Will we be able to manage without the presence of parent, friend, partner, mentor? Have they abandoned us to our fate, left us to die, to feel lonely and bereft? Will they come back again, or will ill befall them in our absence? Will they remember us? Can we give up our demand that they be available to us endlessly? Can we cherish their memory and what they gave us? Can we let go of the comfort and privileges of babyhood, childhood, youthof life itself, without too much resentment? Even a conflict-laden situation may be hard to part from for it offers some sense of security by being familiar. We may in addition dread what might take its place; as the saying goes: ‘better the devil you know than the one you don’t know.’ It is only if the past or present is disastrous that we contemplate the end with sheer relief.