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When Jude died, life felt impossible. There are entire months of time that I can barely remember. Somehow, we got the important things done; Oscar went to school, we ate, we slept. We had a lot of help. We watched a lot of television.

The television we watched was mostly old stuff that we’d seen a dozen times before. It was comfort food. One thing I remember watching was Friends. It was a good show to watch because nothing about it was too serious and we had both grown up watching it as kids, so it was familiar. There were a good number of episodes, so we didn’t have to think about what to watch next. Just start it on Netflix and let it keep going until we started falling asleep in the evening.

It was also the first time I realized I had a problem with endings. Not just me, either. Without needing to discuss it, neither Tamzin nor I wanted to watch the last episode of friends and have it end. I have noticed the same thing with books and other television shows.

The books I read tended to be things that went on for a long time. I started re-reading the Discworld books, and even now I haven’t finished the series. It is just there, unfinished.

You don’t need to be a psychologist to realize why endings were such a problem for us; we had just dealt with the ultimate untimely ending and the idea of anything else finishing was hard to handle. Plus, there was no need for us to handle it. No one cared whether we watched the last episode of Friends. It didn’t matter whether I read the last few Discworld books.

There is one place where it does matter, though; my writing. If I can’t end a story, then I don’t really have a story. I quickly found that I did still have the desire to write (which surprised me, in the early days I had assumed I would never write again) but couldn’t bring myself to finish any of the stories I wrote.

It took me a long time to get over that, and along the way I found other ways to get the comfort I desperately needed from books that I was reading and books that I was writing. But it still isn’t easy.

Endings are tough.