Tiny Wisdom: When Good Times Come to an End

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss

The other night, I saw Jersey Boys, the play that chronicles Frankie Valli’s rise to fame with the band The Four Seasons. I wasn’t previously familiar with the group’s story, so I was even more enthralled by the journey that led them to international success–particularly because they had so many catchy songs that I’ve known and loved for years.

In the second act, there’s a scene when the other members all decide they want out, despite the years they struggled to reach that level of success. It’s a real “all is lost” moment for Valli, and it leaves him with debt and doubt about what might come next. The group had a number of hit songs and a promising future, and yet in an instant, it was over.

There’s a heart-wrenching moment when Valli asks his closest band mate, “Why does everyone leave?”

I know that moment. Maybe you do, too.

It’s when the other shoe drops: when something you loved and worked for comes to an inevitable end, as all things do. It’s tempting to cling to what was. After all, you put your heart into it, and if you move on, you can’t know for certain that you’ll experience that same magic again–whether it’s a job, a company, a project, or maybe even a relationship that’s run its course.

You can never know for certain what the future holds. But you can know if that you’re willing to let go, you can open yourself up to new possibilities that may fulfill you even more than you knew to imagine.

At 77 years old, Frankie Valli is a living legend who has now performed solo for decades. I’m sure in that moment, when everything fell apart, he had no idea how things would later come together. He may even have thought the music ended, but really, it was just beginning.

If you’re dealing with an ending, remember: It may have been the adventure of a lifetime, but there are many more to be had.

Photo by steve_steady64

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Saying goodbye and letting go are tough things to do but I have found that while it can be gut wrenching in the moment, there is always a good reason that things had to change and I try to keep that in mind when I’m going through a time like that. Some days it’s easier to remember than others!

  • Lonnie Jones

    I know that moment as well; a band in which I was playing was poised to become “the next big thing” and then the leader made the decision to retire from music.  It was devastating for the rest of us. The same moment comes frequently with marriages.  Couples reach the point where being together is no longer an option.  But the heart still beats, and as long as it does, life exists.  

  • I think it always helps to remember that every ending is a new beginning. The journey’s never over; it’s just leading in a new direction. =)

  • I think it always helps to remember that every ending is a new beginning. The journey’s never over; it’s just leading in a new direction. =)

  • “But the heart still beats, and as long as it does, life exists.” <~ I love this! I know that sometimes I've wrapped my identity into something I have going on, which can make an ending seem catastrophic. But that's how we grow–by giving our all and then knowing when to let go, and open our hearts to something else.

  • Jlhibdon

    I lost my parents in a double suicide a little over a year ago; dad was 85, mom was 83. After 65 years of marriage, they didn’t want to lose their independence or be a burden. I still grieve the loss, but feel so lucky to have had such amazing people as parents. Now I spend my time telling others that my parents last act wasn’t who they were. It doesn’t define them or take away from their live of love and philanthropy. I could never have been open to helping others as I do now with the Grief and Loss Center of North Texas. I am their living legacy and proud to be their daughter!

  • This is absolutely one of the hardest things for me to remember. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    I had never expected to gain depth and feel more full through self-annihilation events. It was a wisdom I was scared to accept because it meant everything was transient and the illusory security concept an impossibility. But, after divorces, changed jobs, 25+ addresses, roller coaster health and living internationally, I’ve come to accept and celebrate that:

    The greatest upsets that carve out our innards and leave gaping holes, grants us an opportunity to next fill them as gaping wholes.

  • Jswanson1018

    This article was so timely.  My boyfriend and I moved to Alaska for the summer.  It’s been a dream come true and now it’s time to head back to North Carolina.  Our summer got cut a few weeks short due to the house selling that we are renting.  We are both sad, but he is really devastated.  He wants to stay in Alaska and I want to go back.  We’re in a tough spot. 

  • Buddhaboy79

    You know about a year and a half ago I would have never understood what this ment or what it was saying. I understand this immediately because of good spiritual direction from my Lama and a dedicated meditation schedule. I was diagnosed with leukemia last October, it ultimately seemed like a devastating end to many things, including life itself. But I could not have been more wrong. I came to a understanding of impermanence and and the spiritual understanding that life is as short as a lighting bolt compared to eternity. Live well, love often, and never say no if you can help another person.

    Blessings of the triple gem
    Shawn (Yonten Gyatso) Finlan

  • It’s so inspiring that you’ve taken your loss and turned into something that can help other people heal and move on. I can’t imagine how difficult it was to lose both your parents at once, and in the way you did. It sounds your parents had love and compassion in their hearts when they took their lives, and I can understand why you’d want other people to focus on that, not the act itself. Thank you for sharing your story here. I really admire your strength and commitment to helping others!

  • Spent  fabulous time with the man I love the most and his family in his home town..It was priceless, I was happy every second of it. Although he thinks there’ll be no future for us, I can’t regret being with him, it was worthy, so much. I’m so glad I went to see him again after 2 years..

  • You’re welcome! 

  • I sold a start up business that was my heart and soul for 8 yrs.  It became successful and well known.  But when I sold it I didn’t weep for it. It was time and I was excited about the change to come.
    Yet, I had to delete all my photos recently of that business.  It just touched something in me that pulled me back to the past and that made me feel…sad.  Its my history, my life and that business also represented a huge change for me.  A time of personal growth and realization and a dream come true so it wasn’t really about the work but what P to P mean to me on a very personal level.  Removing photos meant I couldn’t be pulled back into a sad place.  I am only looking forward and now I’m trying new things that I had to put on the back burner for 8 years.I know that when something is done, be it a life or job or friendship, I am not alone in the sadness of it ending.  I am not the first nor shall I be the last that has felt this way and I take comfort in that.  We are all connected and life goes on.  Change. Do you choose to embrace it with fear and dread or a smile on your face.  My late father once said to me when I quit a job and felt terrible for it, ‘well, where a door closes, a window opens’ and that really is a medafor for life.  I hear him tell me all the time.  I’m glad I listened to him that day on the deck. 

  • Jayelle

    I wonder if you have read this poem which I have always found helpful in the letting go situation ….

    She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
    She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
    She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
    She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.
    She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
    No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
    There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.
    In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…”

  • As a have a chronic progressive debilitating disease I should print this out and carry it around with me daily! 

  • Sasalool

    I know that moment as well, just recently I had to leave the place I worked in for years to start in different place and different feild. I got to know the people in my first job and they got to know me. I have proven myself there and they know about my mood swings and since they know I am a good hearted person, they let it go, and forgive me for my mistakes
    They accepted me. I felt that I belong. They were like a family to me
    it’s very hard for me to start in an new place with new people.
    I know it’s sad but I am grateful to them, and grateful for the feelings they gave me and the time I spent there
    I think it’s time to let go and start over again

  • Anonymous

    Yes, so true…i’m going through this right now and while i know your words to be true, at the same time it’s a constant struggle to remind myself of this and not let the gaping hole be filled with negative energy. It’s a daily struggle and i tell myself that soon, it won’t be such a struggle and rather it will be second nature to have this different perspective that will lead me to a more peaceful, loving life.

  • Anonymous

    I sympathize! I’m not always clear-headed about it! Just keep practicing and it will become a more automatic part of you; a real strength taken anchor. 🙂

  • TigerDog

    This really helped me feel better when a loved one decided to leave forever because I was too shy to show my feelings and now she is with someone else 🙁

    This really gives me huge support. Really.

    Many many thanks 🙂

  • You are most welcome. =)