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Creating your own happy ending. Wednesday January 22, 2014

Yesterday I told you my mother is leaving her home of thirty years. Unsurprisingly, she is sad to do so. I'm sad too, and so are my young nephew and nieces, but until this Christmas none of us had talked about how we felt.

Lately I've come to see avoidance can create anxiety, so I decided to face the upset more head on. The morning of Christmas Eve, I was at Mum's house as usual and after a restless night, I went down to the kitchen where I found my nephew and nieces already up and writing and drawing at the table. Mum was still in bed, which made it the perfect moment.

'Hey kids,' I said. 'This is our last Christmas here, so how about you each write something about your memories of this house so we have a keepsake for your grandma?'
'What a great idea!' said my oldest niece, Rose. (How I love children for their enthusiasm!)
'What sort of thing?' asked my middle niece, Polly.
'Anything you like,' I said, not wanting to limit their imaginations. 'Perhaps we could put everything together and make Grandma a big card for her birthday.'

Hours of poem-writing and storytelling, drawing and printing out photos from the computer ensued. We ended up filling not just a card, but an entire scrapbook.

On Christmas Day the children presented my mother with her gift. It was packed full of memories, just like the house, and it finished with a double page spread full of positive messages about her move and their excitement about her new home. Best of all, unlike the house, she can take the book with her.

But perhaps I, more than anyone, learned a valuable lesson that day. Endings don't need to be run from. They can be acknowledged, even celebrated. Spookily, as we focused on the book, I felt my own anxiety evaporate. And, like mist clearing from a valley, it revealed a clearer view of the changes ahead. I'd go so far as to say the prospect of 2014's upheaval is less frightening as a result. So next time you feel inclined to avoid a funeral or dump someone by text, perhaps it's worth considering if you might behave differently. Like me, you might be surprised how therapeutic happy endings can be.

A Moodscope user.

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Anonymous Thu, Jan 23rd 2014 @ 7:42am

First time I have felt the need to comment. What a great post. Lovely idea. Thank you.

curious212000 Thu, Jan 23rd 2014 @ 7:51am

These has been very personal statements on endings and thank you for sharing, they have been interesting and emotionally thought provoking. I hop I can put hem in to action myself. Bye for now Susan.

Anonymous Thu, Jan 23rd 2014 @ 7:54am

thumbs up, insightful and useful anecdote. Thank you.

Anonymous Thu, Jan 23rd 2014 @ 8:13am

What a beautiful series of posts you have written. Thank you. Very inspiring.

heather Thu, Jan 23rd 2014 @ 9:44am

Heartwarming, and good advice for dreaded endings.

Roydelle Thu, Jan 23rd 2014 @ 10:37am

Thank you Sarah! That was really inspiring!!

Melanie Lowndes Thu, Jan 23rd 2014 @ 1:42pm

Wonderful Sarah! Well done and thank you. Lol, xx

Sarah Thu, Jan 23rd 2014 @ 5:21pm

I'm so pleased this seems to have set off interesting and helpful trains of thought with other Moodscope users. I did wonder when I wrote it whether it would work, stretching a blog over three days and basing it on something so personal, but I decided 'nothing ventured, nothing gained' and I'm glad I did! I thought I'd continue to be brave and reveal my identity - as Caroline knows, my name is Sarah Rayner and I am an author - more specifically, a novelist. In the not too distant future I have a new novel out in the UK and this one focuses on mental health - it's called Another Night, Another Day, and is about three people who meet in a psychiatric clinic. (It'll be published in the USA in 2015.) When it's out here I hope to offer Moodscopers the chance to win a copy with a giveaway, as I believe it's a subject many of you may connect with, but for now I just thought I'd say hello and thank you all for your heart-warming comments. :)

C A Morgan Thu, Jan 23rd 2014 @ 7:56pm

Hi Sarah really enjoyed these last three posts and the quality of your writing which rang a bell. Now I know your true identity, as well as being a Moodscoper, realise I have read your book 'One Moment One Morning' which I loved and which showed insight into the human mind like your posts. Thank you for sharing your expertise with the Moodscope community. I look forward to your new book.

Anonymous Fri, Jan 24th 2014 @ 2:47am

I second heather.

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