Endings: the Color of Memory

A couple days ago, I saw someone walking their beagle dog and was reminded of my childhood dog Penny. She was my best friend and even though she was disobedient and ornery, she had a big heart and I knew she loved and my family and me. She died while I was away on a trip. I didn’t get to say goodbye and I wasn’t there to comfort her as she passed on. Not being there for her final moments, even though it was out of my control, has made me sad ever since.

While I was admiring the cute little beagle and missing Penny, I had an epiphany. . . . What if, instead of focusing on my sadness and regret, what if I focused on the happy memories  and funny stories that I had with her; that I had an awesome dog who was part of my life.

What I’m trying to get at, is that unless you’re dying of boredom or your bladder is so full you just can’t even . . .

. . . most endings suck. Goodbyes can be excruciating. Grand adventures coming to an end feel like a let down. Heartbreak can feel like too much to bear. And as healthy humans, we should feel all the feelings.

But when the time to mourn has ended, we should eventually move on; sometimes we just need to let go and hopefully we can eventually rest in the peace and thankfulness that whatever it was or whoever it was, was part of our lives. An ending doesn’t have to diminish the beauty of the beginning and middle. The moments that were filled with love and laughter still are still a part of reality even though they are part of the past. Those memories will always be a part of you and the story of your life.

Life isn’t just a 80 year period of turning oxygen in CO2. It is a story, at least that’s how I choose to view life and having this perspective is the only way my life can make sense.   I don’t understand the reasons why I have gone through certain events in my life, and the “so I can help other people” reason, many days isn’t good enough. But viewing my life as a story arc with highs and lows, victories and loses somehow makes my life make sense: I can’t articulate the “reason why” events happened, but it is part of my story and I’m still here breathing and living, with a little more wisdom. I’m not afraid anymore.

The stories we love are those filled with low points, difficulties, as well as happy, funny, and fair moments.One of my favorite movies of all time is Gladiator, because despite it all Maximus defied all the obstacles that stood before him. We love stories because we don’t know what’s going to happen and/or we enjoy their fun or humor. We enjoy them because of the drama. To have a good life is not to avoid pitfalls, mistakes, and dark days. A good life is made when despite it all you are still here and you are not only alive, but you are living, flowing with the currents of life that are out of your control.

As cliche as it sounds, like in nature, things die to make room, to fertilize for the next season, stage of life. We make mistakes so we can gain wisdom and experience that will, if we allow it to, influence and cultivate a richer life.

I don’t know your story, and I don’t know what it’s like to be you. But I can tell you from experience that a change of perspective can color your world so differently and change your life for the better.

Peace and Love,

K

P.S. Check out Allison Fallon’s post called What No One Says About New Beginnings

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