I‘ve always been afraid of the end; of the ending of things. Never knowing very well what to expect. And, if I am going to write about the truth of this fear, I feel that I am not the only one who feels it. I guess I don’t want it to come to the end.
How to explain it
Let’s see, how can I explain it? On many occasions, it makes me nervous to face the termination of things, of moments. And then, if I think about it, it’s a normal reaction. I’ve already taken a journey and reaching the end means you have to start all over.
However, there are moments when starting form scratch its just what one needs. To recharge batteries, to be a ghost and get lost a bit while finding the north or the south (both are valid) of our lives.
I know it seems weird, but there is an actual fear that situations may come to an end, to a conclusion. And, there are hundreds of situations that are clear examples for this.
For some strange reason, when people talk about endings, what we assume is that we are talking about death. This may be the truth in many cases but it is not always true.
I think it’s worth going into a bit of detail on the subject. Being honest, when someone goes to a funeral, the subject of death is enlightened and with it the fear of the end. It is an uncomfortable reality, but it is a fact of life, there is no way to escape it. There is a condition called Tanatophobia, or phobia of death. As I found out, it is when a person suffers panic attacks or anxiety when thinking about the end of life.
It is considered that people suffering from this phobia are people with obsessive personalities and they spend their time thinking about issues related to death. But, I also want to make it clear that not all people suffer from this phobia.
Another good example, is the fear of ending the pregnancy. As it happens, the last weeks may be the most difficult of all. This happens due to several reasons.
On the one hand, patience begins to end. Moreover, there is a certain anxiety generated by the idea of finally meeting the little person who has been growing inside of us. In addition, the birth will take place and a new stage of life will begin.
I would like to make it clear that feeling fear and anxiety about childbirth are completely normal. It’s strange to not have them. Fear generates bewilderment. In some way it is a way to destabilize everything around us.
Another example is when a romantic relationship comes to an end. This is terrible. It can be one of the most difficult moments to overcome in life and it is not something related only to emotions. Things happen in our brain and in our bodies that explain why it is so painful to end a relationship.
In order to try to explain this, we must understand that human beings have an emotional memory. This memory allows us to relate experiences, sounds, tastes, images with emotions and people. Emotional memory needs emotional experiences that the brain in turn associates with bodily sensations (www.esalud.com).
And, being honest when a romantic relationship ends, regardless of the duration (what matters is the intensity) this can be painful.
Endings in the world
Another example of fear of endings is perhaps one of the most simple and basic fears. That the world will come to an end. And, it’s hard not to consider all that is going on in the world and think that this is our third act. There are racial tensions, violence is at an all time high, political uncertenties, global warming, attacks on immigrants, right wing power in several countries is regaining stregth and civil liberties are being constantly threatened, amongst others.
So, the world seems on fire. Clearly, feeling like we’re speeding toward the end of the world is imminent. But, humanity has been afraid of the end of the world since ages ago. Basically, disaster and ensuing doomsday fears have been around for ever and they’ve never been easy to deal with. Here are some examples of this.
The fear of the end is always there. It’s constant, waiting for its chance.
– Nessa –
In 1348, people encountered the Black Death. So they basically started dying a lot. It was the most devastating pandemia in human history to affect Europe during the XIV century. It is estimated that at least one third of the population died. In 1666 the Great Fire of London took place. At at least 80 thousand people became homeless, that means one sixth of the cities population at the time.
Between 1948 and 1958 La Violencia took place in Colombia. A moment where members of the Conservative Party and Liberal Party clashed severly. It was an extremely violent moment: persecutions, murder and disappearance. The conflict caused between 200 thousand and 300 thousand deaths. From 1939 to 1945 World War II took place. It is estimated that between 50 million and 85 million people died.
Ok, so much for ending examples. For my part, I love starting new projects. It’s like throwing yourself into the void. There are so many possibilities, options, paths to take, it is infinite. And I love that. What I do not love so much is that to start something, obviously, something else must come to an end.
I think ends are messy, dirty, full of cobwebs. They are like a very dark tunnel and although they say that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, because many times, more than one would like to admit, it seems as if such light does not exist.
If for example we take into account the change of the seasons, it is possible to see how everything comes to an end and starts again. It is as if a reset button were pressed on the computer.
It is a sensation that floats in the air. It feels as I ride my bike through the streets of the city where I live, it is felt in every pore of my body. The change will forever be a sure thing.
With the passing of the days I have learned to let the seasons reach their obligatory end and in the same way start new adventures. It’s something that I had to learn. Learn to let things be completed, have a certain time of moons. But it is something that, I believe, will be a process for the rest of my life.
To see how the leaves are born, how the flowers bloom and suddenly see how their colors change until they see them come off and upholster the cement. It is shocking.
I still remember the first autumn I lived (I grew up in a country where season don’t really change: its always summer). The image of a tree losing the few leaves that were left made me shudder. While I was sitting in that park, which some months before was vibrating due to the the number of people and the laughter in the air, now it was almost empty, with wind, occasional drizzle and trees that undressed like my soul.
I think we have to think that we all have to let things come to an end. It is a necessary process. Think about it: do you remember the moment you jumped into the pool to swim alone, or did you ride your bike without help? That moment that terrified them, when they finally overcame their fear and let the previous thing end.
That anxiety that eats at us many times prevents us from taking the next step. I think this happen more times than we would like to admit.
This feeling accompanies us since we are small and in our adult life does not disappear. So much so, that fear, that anguish prevents us from making necessary changes.
I believe that in life we must overcome, or at least try, all those fears that do not allow us to start new moments. But, as we learned when we were little, on the other side of fear and anguish is full satisfaction.
In short, this is the end. The end of many things and the beginning of another thousand. It only remains to wait to see how we assume these new changes, the adventures that are lining up for us. The only thing that is certain, is that the hands of the clock pass and with them the time that we will never have and to which we will never return.