I wrote recently about Part I of an ending: “the end of a good run.” – in short, the way good things end and our immediate reactions around it.
There’s more to the way things end, though – there is the subsequent rationalization; the way that we can choose to interpret an ending with more understanding; and really, even more love.
This is Part II – the other side of an ending.
Losing something that meant a lot – pulling up during one hell of a run – is damn hard. And the more you care about something, the harder it is to lose.
The reality, though, is that things end. Thing are always changing.
And of course, if all is fleeting, it can be said that we should not be attached. But at the same time, if we’re being fair, we can also feel compassion for the human experience and recognize that the loss of something most precious to us is the most painful experience, however fleeting, of all.
And so our first job is to not attempt to inhibit attachment or mourning. Embrace grief wholeheartedly.
Many beautiful things are beautiful because they are fleeting. Grief is part of beauty. We should be unafraid to embrace grief thusly. Grief is only a side effect of love. And to prevent grief would likely mean to prevent love – to smother and stomp out any indications in its early stages.
And that’s simply no way to live.
Live with love. Accept that things change; love may fade away. And in that void comes grief.
We tend to recoil from impermanence and the ending of things, but the reality is that beauty fades; love and grieving, “like separation and connection,” exist only with one another.
And when things end, you have to release them. It is your job – your obligation, as a person – to relinquish it.
Give it back to the universe.
“Everything is always changing. When we take loved objects into our egos with the hope or expectation of having them forever, we are deluding ourselves and postponing an inevitable. The solution is not to deny attachment but to become less controlling in how we love.” – Epstein, Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart
Everything is transient- impermanent. And part of a good existence – part of “life’ing” well – is not only recognizing that, but accepting it.
“It is possible to have a relationship to transience that is not adversarial, in which the ability to embrace the moment takes precedence over fear its passing.” – Epstein
And the ability to love something for having happened takes precedence over fear of it going away.
Love as though there is no ending.
But also maintain a single thread of appreciation for its potential impermanence; for the fact that all things shift and change and evolve and, yes, things end. And when your things ends and you see grief on the other side, sit in the appreciation that that grief marks a sense of sincerity for what you gave.
And then let it go. Relinquish; release; give it all back to the universe.
And rest assured that this, too, is love.
After all, if you really love something, you set it free.