And they lived happily ever after…

How many movies end like this?

How many endings have been changed so that the ending is indeed happy?

However…

Is there ever a happy ending?

Or are endings just closure?

What’s the last thing you ended? Relationship? Job? Something else?

What was the reason that something ended? Did you end something because you were happy? Or did you end something because in some way, shape or form it didn’t work for you? Did someone else cause the ending and you had no say in the matter?

When you signed the divorce papers, were you happy? Or were you just glad that it was over?

When is the last time something ended that made you happy?

Even the whole pandemic/quarantine thing: I’m glad things are opening up. I’m glad that things are getting back to normal. And in one sense I am happy- ecstatic even. But I know that I will never get back the things that I have lost in the past year. I will never get back that year. Am I happy? Not as much as I’m glad that it’s finally ending. It’s more about the closure. I am ending a very sad chapter in my life that brought me depression and regret and sadness. Happiness is just the illusion we cling to because we don’t want to face what the “before” actually did to us.

Now I swing the topic over to you: Are endings happy, or do they just end something that needs to end? Do endings really only bring us closure?

Have you ever been 100% truly happy over an ending? Or does every ending come with some sort of angst?

This episode features additional insight not included in the post yesterday. You can find out if the hypothetical was really hypothetical.

93 thoughts on “Happy Ending?

  1. I think every ending comes with angst. What springs to mind is my divorce. It’s been almost thirty years, and I’m married to a wonderful man now, but it still makes me sad that my first marriage ended. It was a bad situation for both of us, mostly because we were too immature to be married, but it was supposed to be forever. There was relief it was over, but regret as well. I don’t really believe in happily ever after, just happy for now. Maybe I’m just old and jaded?

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    1. I don’t think it’s jaded. I think it’s pragmatic. Is a happy ending more of a psychological need? When I got divorced from my ex it wasn’t really happy…it just was

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      1. Yes! “It just was.” That sums it up perfectly. I just read aon a Facebook post about a domestic violence case that ended in a brutal murder that we are “trained” to look for the happy ending. Happy endings are wonderful in books, movies, etc. People need to realize this is fiction. There’s not a whole lot of happily ever after in real life. We just move on and try our best not to make the same mistakes again.

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  2. I don’t know that there is ever a truly happy ending. Even me leaving my terrible toxic job is not completely happy. I’m also happy we are edging closer to the end of the closures, but I’m still sad over all we lost the past year

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    1. Exactly. While being done with things is great, are we truly footloose and fancy free? I don’t think so. I think we still hold onto to things from the past

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  3. Are endings happy? Erm, they can be but equally they can be sad or even unremarkable. Sometimes, of course, ending do not deliver any closure at all 😉 I really do not think that there is just one answer to the question 😉

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      1. I knew it sounded familiar but I couldn’t place it. On a different note, my daughter bought me a book for Christmas…Shakespeare every day. It gives a small passage and explanation every day. It’s fun

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  4. This made me think of my first marriage too. After all the divorce proceedings (and I initiated the divorce), after the last court appearance, I sat in my car and cried. I was happy and sad at the same time.

    About the pandemic, I agree with the commenter above who said he was sad we lost the past year. I agree with that. That is closure we won’t ever get. I also feel sad for people who lost loved ones to COVID and couldn’t say goodbye, also closure they won’t ever get.

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  5. I suppose “happy” is relative depending on the situation and personal definition of the term. I also think humans have the capacity to experience varied emotions surrounding the same event, moving through the process and ending both with satisfaction and happiness over the result. I think of my divorce. I just wanted it over, and of course I had memories and emotions flooding in throughout the process. I was numb the day the decree was signed, but yes I can say I am happier now than I was for many, many years of my marriage.

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    1. Good point. Eventually endings make us happier. But just because something ends doesn’t mean you will necessarily be happy…if you know what I mean.

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      1. Agreed. I don’t think anyone can guarantee happiness, and I wonder if some people are searching for some form that just doesn’t exist. There is no perfect life, although I think some may expect that, and expect supreme happiness along with it.

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  6. Endings are things I avoid like the plague (no pun intended), I’m haunted by the last time my Father and I made eye contact before his death, a world of knowing passed between us, and I knew it was the last time. There are so many small endings that we might not ever realize, like snuggling a child after a bad dream, or that last walk with a beloved pet, the last dance with my grandfather… I realize we have to evolve, stagnant water is deadly, but at my age I’m wondering if I’ll ever read Little Women again, or watch Doctor Zhivago, ride a gondola through Venice before I leave this world? I recently read a woman’s last blog post and she mentions the fact she’ll never again see a full moon. We may never pass this way again…C

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    1. It’s funny that you say that because I’m working in a piece for someone else’s blog that is essentially about how do we know when it’s the last…

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  7. Happy endings are for rom-coms, not real life. Which is fine with me. Some endings come as a relief, but I expect most bring a mix of emotions. Some are downright distressing. I’m happy the Trump administration came to an end – I’d do a happy dance for that.

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  8. I hope to be ending my job soon to go to another…I will be happy with that and happier with the new…

    PS… I haven’t commented yet on that book post…I have to calm down a bit. Loved your comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I am a little tired of the rush to judgement on authors that wrote before 2019. Or artists. Or actors. I don’t beLieve in banning books or censorship of any kind.

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      1. I couldn’t agree with you more. When I watch a fifties movie…I watch it fully well knowing it was made in the fifties…if I don’t like it…I won’t watch it again. It’s pretty simple…I’m going to to try to have it banned.

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      2. I think we must bring historical context to whatever we look at or read. For better or worse it explains a time and a place in history. This is how it was. You can’t rewrite it like the writers of historical fiction are doing

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      3. Most importantly…that is how we learn. Some things are obvious but sometimes I think people go hunting for something to erase. If that is progress…I want no part of it.

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      4. Exactly my thought. It’s like the Salem witch trials…they’re looking for things to make them allowed to burn you at the stake. I might talk about this tomorrow…but I’m not giving a shameless plug to read my blog…just alerting you.

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      5. Nothing wrong with shameless plugs anyway! I will be here! Thanks again…and the Salem witch trials are a good example.

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  9. It depends on what’s ending and why. Rarely have I gotten closure from a relationship ending. I usually have to create that for myself, like some rationale for it to end. Ending jobs are usually fun for me, because I know something else is better (most of the time anyway), not with this latest job, which I’m going to share Monday (you’re in my brain again).

    I guess happy endings can only be as happy as the person ending the thing…maybe.

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    1. The old New York is back…if by old you mean the New York of the 70s. Rising crime, murder at a 20 year high, no incentives for businesses to stay here, high taxation, middle and upper classes moving out, school system in a shambles. We are back. And I’m glad that things have been good to you, but my friends and relations in other parts of the country are mourning their losses as well. It’s not just a New York thing. It’s pretty universal from my perspective.

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  10. My circumstances are happy. I’ve tried to set up my life for happiness. But, I’ve found that happiness doesn’t come from my circumstances. It comes from a spiritual consciousness within me. Somethings end. Some things begin. Again, I’ve found that happiness does not come from beginnings and endings. It comes from the NOW and it comes from the ground of being within me. And it’s not a philosophy. It’s an experience. It’s not constant, but I’m working on making it more stable.

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    1. That’s a wonderful perspective. You’ve set yourself up for “success” because you’re thinking of what sustains you as a person. You’re able to look at the whole and the parts simultaneously. Excellent.

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  11. I’m not much for happy endings in a movie or book, unless it’s cleverly done and makes sense. The last happy ending I can remember was the end of the baseball strike in 1981, but alas, it really didn’t end happily as the Dodgers beat the Yanks in the Series.

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  12. I believe happiness has really nothing to do with present circumstances, only with how we understand our reality internally. I’ll be signing my divorce papers soon, and I expect a myriad of emotions, sadness, relief, grief, etc, yet I am unsure if happiness will be one of them. Maybe. Don’t know.

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  13. Very thought-provoking. You may not like my perspective on this, but I’ve never thought as anything actually “ending.” In fact, the quote at the “end” of one of my children’s books (Birds of Paradise) is “The end is just the beginning.” I don’t think that anything really “ends.” Yes, my first marriage ended, but I got through the pain and found a better person to live my days with, a marriage that is full of everything the first was not. I ended a job that I really really liked – but had to relocate for various reasons. I was devastated, but have instead now dedicated my working hours to writing books and blogging and teaching writing classes. So one thing ends to allow something else to begin. Oh, I just saw the Orson Wells quote above. That’s it exactly. If we don’t stop our life story, there can be no ending.

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    1. I totally agree! Happily ever after implies some static point after which no growth, learning or quest to find meaning is accounted for. But I guess “delighted to reach a new stage in life in which the richness and beauty of life can be discovered” isn’t quite succinct enough!

      So grateful that you have used all your transitions to find that richness and beauty, @Roughwighting!

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  14. I’ll be pretty darn happy to see winter leave. On a more serious note, I think it depends on your definition of “happy.” Many people interchange happiness with joy, which I see as two separate emotions. Happiness is dependent on a specific set of circumstances. Joy is what I can feel despite my circumstances…which may be very unhappy at the time. In short, I think there are very few, if any, “happy endings.” It’s an illusion. But, we can find happy moments that can give us joy in the worst of scenarios. 💜

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  15. What’s happier. getting a divorce or living together in increasingly bad health until one of you dies?

    Happy endings are for works of fiction. They are a neat way to finish, everyone feels happy, including the accountants and everyone moves on to more fiction.

    In real life there really is no ending. People get divorced, which seems to be a popular point for discussion here, but you still have to see them around for various reasons. Even death isn’t an ending,because you still leave partners and kids behind. Their story doesn’t end, even if yours does.

    However, just because their is no clear “happy ending” doesn’t mean to say there is no happiness.

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    1. True. So can we say that the term should be happiness to denote a specific stare, instead the the all encompassing happy? Like someone said, should we accept that life is full of moments, some better than others?

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      1. I think that sums it up nicely. Lots of happiness but no tidy endings. As you become happy with one thing, another thing becomes a problem…

        As in, you start a podcast and become a famous media star then karma nearly takes out your dog and you become racked by guilt for causing it by stealing your husband’s snacks.. That sort of thing.

        🙂

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  16. Ooh! This is exactly how stories work. Besides an ending, why do we begin where we do? Why pay as much attention to one scene over another? Time is not only always moving, it never ended nor ever had a beginning if one is to defend the principle that it never ends.

    I’ll stop getting philosophical and say that I think your point about the happiness is that there’s closure. Yes, another issue may open up with that person, but -yes- you can reach resolution points as well.

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    1. You’re right of course…the perspective of something being an ending vs a beginning is very powerful. Imagine writing a story from the perspective that something has ended and the protagonist is sad and depressed. Now take the same story but make the protagonist think of it as a new beginning instead. How differently will the stories unfold?

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  17. The thing about endings is that no matter how much you try, sometimes you just have to end it. You are never happy ending something that you once enjoyed whether being a relationship or job. But after sometime you realise how happy you are that, that certain part of your life is no more. So I think the happiness is not immediate like how movies portray it to be.

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  18. I’m happy Meghan Windsor has left the country, shame she couldn’t keep her council, our royal family aren’t perfect (who’s are) but they didn’t deserve her lies…………….but I guess she made a few million on the process!

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  19. I am glad that there were lots that came to an end in my life. Sour relationships, useless work environments, lost friendships and so on. But to be honest, am glad it ended. The closure paved way for me to look at whatever I have with a different perspective. It has made me become tad better than what I used to be. Lots of improvements in my self confidence. I live my life without any regrets and I do it only my way. I get to live life in my own terms. So to me, though the endings creep you out for a while – Endings help you deal with life better. It helps you make healthy choices and you tend to move on!

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  20. It is a bitter sweet experience. Many of lifes greatest things happen at the end of things. And sometimes the bitter is a lesson or a stinging that will last a long time. But it is something we will always remember.

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  21. Here’s another topic on which I have collected way too many applicable thoughts. Also something that can go circular on me, especially at this time. Generally, though, the end of my marriage has driven me to face and consider new potential openings and opportunities – some happy and some not so much. Either way, the pending end of the worst of the pandemic, especially the shutdowns and quarantines and social distancing from people I want/need to be close to, is making me very happy, especially the since the feeling is mutual with most of those people!

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