Why are endings really difficult?
This question came to mind yesterday.
If you didn’t know already, yesterday night was when the last episode of one of my favorite TV shows, Fringe, aired.
There are different kinds of endings, but they all result in the same thing the close of a story. When a story is really good, we don’t want it to end.
Though is there a true ending? The story can live on through the author’s mind even though the story ended for the reader on the last page. We as people live on through those who love us.
It has been said that, “Life is like a novel with the end ripped out.” We don’t know how the ending will be like, and we don’t get any sneak peeks. It also means that we don’t truly end when we pass away. No matter who we are, what we’ve done in our lives, we pass on something of ourselves every day of our lives.
When an ending in any kind of story (such as a movie, tv show or book), turns out to be really happy. Some say it’s not realistic. If the ending turns out, unlike you expected, it could be a good thing or not, but it determines on the person. If the ending, doesn’t wrap up lose ends of the story, we’re left wondering and uncomplete. Then the really good ending, things are wrapped up nicely, it’s not all perfect, but there is still a bit of hope. That’s when you wish the story didn’t end, especially when the story becomes a part of you.
How could a story become a part of you? Well, when we read, write, or even watch a story unfold we experience a mini-life with those characters. They become almost as real as the people around you. So when a character dies, it can bring strong emotions forward. We want the characters to get what they deserve. Just like we strive to get what we feel we deserve. Though we might not get everything we want, we hold hope that the characters at least get the chance.
We don’t want people who we care about to be sad, or be in pain, but it’s part of life. Endings bring both. Though I’m not a parent, I’ve seen how difficult it is for my dad. He has always wanted to protect me from sadness and pain, but it’s really difficult to do that. It makes this quote from a Doctor Who Christmas Special make sense. The Doctor is explaining to the widow why she keeps getting angry at her children, even though she knows that their father is dead but she doesn’t want to tell them because it’s Christmas.
“Because every time you see them happy you remember how sad they’re going to be. And it breaks your heart. Because what’s the point in them being happy now if they’re going to be sad later. The answer is, of course, because they are going to be sad later.” – The Doctor
No matter what happens in our lives, there will be sadness, but the joys that we do have keep us going. We have to have hope for a brighter future.
Some might say, what could an ending of a show or a book really matter compared to a death? Though death is far more difficult, and final, I could never really compare it to anything else. It can come close though, because if the story has impacted you, the ending can cause you grive because you will never see those characters again. Sure there is fanfiction, where fans can continue the story, or tie-in books but it’s not really the same. It does help a bit though.
A good example would be a friendship. There are some really special friendships that we have for almost our entire lives. Though most friendships appear, grow, and then fade away in time. We lose touch with certain friends for different reasons or another. We give excuses, but we don’t want to believe that there are certain people that are just meant to be in your life for a while. It hurts to know that if you move, or start losing touch with someone, you may never talk to them again. They were so important for a part of your life, and then later they almost feel like strangers. Any kind of relationship can end, either by death or by another cause, but if you truly love someone that love never really ends. Love is one of those things that can live on forever. It might not seem like it does, when there are so many people in the world who have broken relationships. The brokeness only happens because we’re not perfect. Love lives on because it’s one emotion that can never let go. We were created to learn how to love and to share love with others.
Without love, endings wouldn’t matter. Suffering wouldn’t be the same. “Without suffering, there’d be no compassion.” – Nicholas Sparks
We have to have both. The only way we can deal with difficulties in our lives is if we have love. That why it’s so important in our lives, and in our stories.
In the show, Fringe, love becomes a very important, just like in many other stories. Though with every story, there is something unique about it. At the end, without spoiling, a main character does a great sacrifice because of love, and the hope of a brighter future. Before the sacrifice, this character sends a message, of a white tulip. Many might not fully understand the significance of the message, if you haven’t seen the show. The white tulip becomes a sign of God’s forgiveness, and a hope that a certain character will forgive another. We see the white tulip through out the show, but it seemed fitting that it would show up at the end. For this story’s ending was bittersweet. It had a happy ending, but not completely.
Maybe that’s why it’s also difficult for me to write the end of the stories I write, especially my novel. I want my characters to get what they deserve. I want a happy ending, but I know it won’t be completely. It seems like there is always something bittersweet about endings.
“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” – Frank Herbert
“Music helps you shift perspective to see things differently if you need to,” said Walter Bishop (Fringe)
“See things like hope?”
“Yes, very much like that,” said Walter.
*A bit spoiler-ish for those who haven’t seen the show but I just had to share this fanvideo with the song, “Only You,” which was in the first episode of the final season.*