Endings are hard, no matter how they come about.
The endings you don’t see coming – an unexpected death, a job loss out of the blue, etc. – are obviously going to be difficult to process, since you had no run-up time to get used to the idea. But everyone will go through a process of dealing with it…denial, anger, bargaining and depression, before you finally accept it. There is no set timetable on this. Everyone will deal with it in their own time and often in their own way.
But that doesn’t mean that endings you expect…sometimes even long for…are any different in the phases.
Think about when you graduate high school or even college. While my guess is that you couldn’t wait for your “real life” to begin, I’ll lay money that you denied the need to figure out our next steps, you were angry that you needed to figure out a next step, you tried to bargain your way out of a next step, and maybe even shed a tear or two about your school years ending, before pulling yourself up and moving toward that next step in your life.
This past weekend was likely my last travel baseball tournament. For quite a while, if not forever. I have previously talked about my “Boys of Summer”, knowing that the end was nigh. It’s true that I am looking forward to having free weekends in the summers to come, I will miss the weekends at the ballpark, getting my “bleacher tan,” cheering on my boys and eating a hot dog from the rare concession stand. I’ll miss the fun and camaraderie with the other parents; playing Baggo on a warm summer evening with an adult beverage of your choice. I’ll miss the laughing and jokes in the stands, along with the frustration and commiseration there when the team has one of those innings. I’ll miss the boys and all their grossness and how sweet they can be to the fans and to each other…although they will never admit to that out loud.
I’m already full-on in denial, thinking that come next spring my son will join another travel team and we’ll have one more year. I’m also edging into anger, that I didn’t make more of the moment when it was happening. Not sure how or what I will bargain with, but I may catch myself trying to talk him into looking at options for next summer. And I’m sure the first nice weekend next summer will have me at loose ends, depressed that I’m not sitting on a bleacher somewhere in the sun cheering for a double play.
Endings are hard. But I know that the world will keep turning and everything will fall into place, in the end.