Embracing Endings

I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending. Fred Rogers

I know New Year’s Eve is on the horizon but, for me, the excitement of the holiday season is mostly over. Tomorrow we will head back to Florida to re-enter our life there. I’ve loved the familiar story of our holiday season as we now know it. My addition of a Unicorn Tea and Cookie Decorating Party was great fun and Christmas Eve (my favorite night of the year) was perfect (see photo below). We spent time with adult kids, grands, great-grands and, as they say, “A good time was had by all.” 

Endings are bitter sweet. Although I’ll miss our family in the coming months, I’m ready to return to our beautiful home, warm weather, Florida friends, and the activities I enjoy. 

Affirmation: I embrace the bitter sweetness of endings.

Coaching questions: What is the story of your holiday season? How are you embracing the familiar ending?

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What’s Your Bitter-Sweet Story?

I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending. Fred Rogers

I know New Year is on the horizon but if feels like the joy, beauty, busy-ness, stress, over-eating of the holidays is mostly over. Tomorrow we’re heading home to Florida to re-enter our normal life. I’ve loved the familiar story of the holiday season as we now know it. I’ve adjusted to not seeing my biological family on Christmas Day and enjoy spending that time with my step-kids, grands, and great-grands. I’m still not quite accepting of not being able to host Christmas as I did for most of my life but I appreciate the adult children who have graciously stepped up to the task. 

Endings are bitter sweet. Saying good-bye to those I love who I only see once or twice a year, leaving behind that sweet great-grand baby in the photo who we will barely recognize the next time we see her is difficult. But, I’m looking forward to returning to our beautiful home, warm weather, sunshine, dear friends, and a myriad of activities I love. 

Affirmation: I embrace the bitter sweetness of endings.

Coaching questions: What is the story of your holiday season? Are you ready for the familiar ending? What are you excited about in 2019? 

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Ending Well

While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die. Leonardo da Vinci, Italian polymath (a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning)

Yesterday I interviewed Jean, a daughter who lost her mother to Alzheimer’s and her step-father to vascular dementia just five days later. He didn’t know his wife had died…in fact he was in a different care facility miles away (she in memory care, he in skilled care). Just before slipping into a final coma, her mother said, “Thank you for everything.” Jean, a CNA, had been her caregiver so her mother would not have to make another move.

I’ve been told several similar stories. Vicki, whose mother had not said a word for two years suddenly looked her daughter in the eye and said, “I love you, Vicki”. These final gifts are precious and give daughters something to cherish as they grieve their loss and beyond.

Affirmation: I accept endings.

Coaching requests and questions: If you have an ending story, recall it now and take comfort in the message. What have you learned about death during your life? How is this informing how you live?