Endings and Beginnings

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Endings and Beginnings

Blaze a trail
with your heart,
Listen to the music
of your soul,
And fly!
-Kris King

Endings have not always been easy times for me, and after being involved with so many people over the years, I know this is true for most people.

Have you ever known someone who never finished their doctorate? Or someone who stayed in a destructive relationship for years and years, someone who never really left home, or someone who grieved a loss for years and years and never let go? Or someone who was so terrified of death that they didn’t really live? Each person tenaciously held on to an existing experience, even if it was over or lacking in richness or substance, because they were afraid of letting go, of what could happen next.

Two of the most significant endings in my life were having breast cancer in 1979 at thirty-six, which ended my body as whole, and the death of my son, Matthew, in 1986 a week after his twenty-first birthday, which ended our profound mother and son relationship. Both were breathtaking and gut-wrenching experiences that I have molded my life with and that molded me. The thoughts about cancer and death that I had before they became realities terrified me and confused me. When I was actually experiencing them, it wasn’t that way at all. I had crossed a threshold, from illusion to reality.

Endings signify so many different things to each of us, from death and destruction, abandonment and failure to freedom and self-acknowledgement, achievement and creativity. What is the difference that lets one person see terror in an ending and another see excitement and learning?

The difference for me came when I realized I didn’t have to be scared or terrified like I had seen in the movies or read about in books, that cancer and death don’t have to be about tragic endings. With the help of a lot of loving and patient people, I started to believe in life again and my ability to choose life passionately in each moment. My cancer became a beginning of my strength. Matthew’s death became the beginning of my faith. Basically, I moved from fear of loss to acceptance of life.

Think of the people in your life who you have seen transform their fear of an ending into a new beginning in how they thought and interacted, basically lived their lives. I have witnessed many such miracles over the years. Valiant, courageous, and even playful engagements with adversity, divorce, illness, and death. Each person an inspiration because of how they use the ending to fuel their own spiritual growth and learning. They take an ending and make it a beginning. What an inspiration to us to live each moment here and now. After all, what are we waiting for?

After Matthew died, this thought came into my mind. It helps me trust life and reminds me to choose life.

Every exit
is an entrance
to somewhere else.
—Kris king

Every time a completion occurs, the next moment is the beginning of something new. Instead of looking backward at where we have come from, this is a reminder to notice where we are and what we are going toward. Letting go of the past with deep appreciation and opening to what lies ahead with curiosity and courage.

The difference that makes a difference? Yes!


1. What have been the most significant endings in your life? Describe them fully.

2. What did you learn about yourself in each?

3. Have you resisted letting something come to a natural ending? What were the consequences?

4. What do you want to begin? What are you curious about and courageous enough to pursue with all your heart?

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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3 Responses to “Endings and Beginnings”

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  2. Hi Kris,

    I re-listened to this today. It is a good lesson to hear and reflect upon more than once. I plan to share it with friends, some who are courageously going throw their own challenges.

    Thank you,

  3. Kris,

    This is a beautifully written and beautifully spoken gift you have given us. Yes, we each have endings and can reach new beginnings. Thank you for sharing.

    The phrases that especially caught me included: “fear of loss and acceptance of life”, “take an ending and make it a beginning”, and “trust life”. Powerful.

    I have taken solace and joy reviewing your words, your own heart, and sharing your generosity both to yourself and to others.

    Thank you,

    John Fentress