What we call the beginning is often the end And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.
—T. S. ELIOT “Little Gidding,” from
CONSIDERING THAT WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH ENDINGS all our lives, most of us handle them poorly. This is in part because we misunderstand them and take them either too seriously or not seriously enough. We take them too seriously by confusing them with finality—that’s it, all over, never more, finished! We see them as something without sequel, forgetting that they are the first phase of the transition process and a precondition of self-renewal. At the same time, we fail to take them seriously enough. Because they scare us, we try to avoid them.
“I don’t want to talk ...