Sunday, September 26, 2021

Endings, Beginnings


Endings can be poignant.  The end of the concert.  The play.  The class.  The job.  Whatever.  Endings mark a transition to something else.  Something new.  Something different.

Endings can be a source of dissatisfaction.  A surge of joy.  Endings can bring sorrow.  Or anticipation for what comes next.

Some people have asked me about how I feel at the end of a warp.  Finishing a warp rarely is a cause for angst because inevitably I have so many more in the pipeline my only thought is which one to do 'next'.

I focus instead on what happens now.  What do I need to do.  Which deadline is most pressing (usually) wins the coin toss.

Relationships can be bittersweet, too.  People move away.  Or just on.  When you get to my age if you haven't experienced the death of someone it is pretty rare.  And those are the hardest, I think.

I remember when my dad died at age 56.  One of mom's best friends was torn up.  It was the first death of a close friend she had dealt with in her memory.  My mom, who had had to deal with numerous deaths by this point couldn't imagine NOT having to experience that loss, even as she dealt with the loss of her partner, the person she referred to as the love of her life until she died.  In the end, she was a widow longer than she had been married.

During my life I have dealt with the deaths of family members and friends, but also?  All the other losses that people deal with.  Right now I'm dealing with the loss of my health - to a certain extent.  But the slowing down, the loss of energy, the requirement to take on less, do less, say no more frequently, has been a difficult one.

In previous decades, I could count on recovering, returning to my 'normal' level of activity, my 'normal' level of energy.

And now?  I just can't.

Learning how to accept help from others has been a challenge.  I am learning to ask for help when I need it.  I am learning how to conserve my strength and energy. I am beginning to learn how to say 'no' - and mean it, no regrets, no guilt.  

Have I stopped dreaming?  No, absolutely not.  There are still things I would like to do with whatever time I have left.  Even if it takes me longer than it might have done 10, 20 years ago.  

I think about my brother a lot.  He died at 51, and his death triggered my diagnosis, saving my life.  The opposite of survivor guilt is survivor responsibility.  He died, I didn't.  Why?  No idea.  But since I'm not dead, I'd better live my life as well as I am able.

Anyway, today was the last of the Zoom meetings for one of my study groups.  We are discussing about continuing on, in some way.  And one person made an offer of help for an event.  I will accept her offer, if I feel I have any chance of attending that event.

We get through this life helping each other.  Learning how to accept help as well as give it is just all part of living.

1 comment:

Peg Cherre said...

Poignant and thoughtful post, as always. Asking for help is indeed hard for us independent types.