No(n)sense of an ending

The unexpected and unhappy ending of a series causes a strong reaction and some urgent dishwashing but also a chance to reframe and refocus on what is more important.

I cannot believe it!” spat Matthew as he got up and marched to the kitchen where he started doing the dishes. This was serious. Matthew doesn’t do dishes when he doesn’t need to and he really didn’t need to on this particular evening.

We had just watched the “surprise” event in episode 13 of the series “One Day” on Netflix. Spoiler alert. Stop reading if you want to watch the series without knowing how it ends.

We had sat through 12 episodes and several hours of this series, some that were at times a difficult watch. We stuck it out, there was something of a “Normal People” feel to the show that kept us going. We had loved that 2020 mini series which was also about the complex relationship between two very different characters growing up in Ireland.

At this stage, we had got to know Emma and Dexter, the main characters of One Day and were just feeling a sense of relief that their trials and relationship difficulties had come to an end. They were together at last. Happiness was on the horizon. We could breathe out.


No such luck

No such luck. She dies. Emma goddam gets knocked over by a car and dies! Just when things were starting to knit together. After all those years of coming together and moving apart, of existential crises and cul de sac searching they had finally dropped their wariness and yearning and committed to each other. What idiot thought that killing Emma was the best thing for the story? The author, obviously.

David Nicholls, who wrote the book and the screenplay said in an interview, “You need to do something shocking, or else it’s just a ‘will they or won’t they’ story of best friends who could be something more, and that’s the oldest story there is.”

We do not agree. Matthew more vehemently so. We think it was a cheap attempt at doing something different. What is it with the need to “do something shocking”? Isn’t life shocking enough? Don’t we have enough tragedy in our world?

We wanted the “oldest story there is”. That’s what we thought we were getting. We were wrong, we didn’t get that at all and we were not happy about it at all.


Stark silhouettes and cloudscapes illuminated by… the moon! Letting the light in.

A tragedy in the true sense

If it was a tragedy in the true sense of the plot, we would have had a sense of the ending way before it smacked us in the eye and left us gasping, “Is she? Is she really dead? No, how could she be!” It did take us into the next and final episode for it to actually land that yes, she was dead. A shock and an ambiguous one to boot.

There are many examples of modern tragedies that have stood the tissue test and come out glowing. ‘Steel Magnolias’, ‘Terms of Endearment’, ‘Dying Young’ are but a few of the films that ended sadly but not unexpectedly, and that is the difference.

Catharsis has its place. The emotional release that we feel when witnessing an onscreen or on stage tragedy results in both a sense of clarity and cleansing. Even as we sense the ending and we weep, we understand why it has to be this way and we love the story for it anyway.

The fact that Matthew was driven to leave before the end of the last episode of One Day and do the dishes was testimony to his disgust.

“I’ll never watch another series again!” he yelled, splashing soapy water onto the floor as he banged the innocent bowls onto the drying rack.


Our peer support coach training material came out beautifully. Plenty of light and love there.

Of course we will

Of course we will watch another series. When we have recovered from our distaste and disappointment we will dip another toe in the series pool like we always do. Watching shorter bite-sized episodes rather than a film of two hours or more works for us when we finish our work day late, and only settle in front of the TV at 20h00.

20h00, you may say, that’s not late. True but we have to finish at 21h30 to get to bed at a good time. We wake early and need a good night’s rest. All evidence points to how vital sleep is. As tempting as it can be to want to watch something longer or just one more episode, we know that the negative impact on our physical and mental state the next day is just not worth it.


Cohort two of our peer support trainee coaches ready to have their lives transformed.

Also not worth it

What is also not worth it is going to bed angry. Anger is a funny emotion, it hangs around in your chest, bubbling and growling and sending heatwaves up your neck and head. If you don’t let it out it settles in for a night of no sleep — explore why sleep is important🔗 — while it messes with your digestive system and can even cause headaches. Over a series? I don’t think so!

Matthew’s dishwashing was his way of getting out the growling and bubbling. He growled while splashing bubbles all over the place. Exerting effort does help to release the angry energies. Once this was done, he was calm enough to do something mindless, and completely different while he wound down for sleep.

There is too much to get angry at in the world today. Too many powerful men manipulating the weak. Too many with too little while those with too much spoil and waste it. Too many bodies oblivious to their impact as they thump through life leaving their mess behind, marking the landscape with tyre ruts and filling the air with black smoke.

In a way it is a relief to only be angry at a made up story. Something that can quickly be relegated to the “been there, seen that, going to forget it in a rush pile”. To get and remain angry at the world when much of what is angering is out of our control is a real waste of energy. It is a waste of sleepless nights and all told will keep us unhappy and unhealthy.


We’re building a new pool pump cover from bits of reclaimed wood. The rich colour and texture makes it look like a work of art.

Acceptance and boundaries

Far better to focus on the real relationships that bind and meld us. The connections that forge our lives and make them as colourful and full as a tightly woven intricate tapestry. There may be dropped stitches, a moth eaten corner or a faded edge but these are our days, and they are beautiful.

The real flesh and blood people of our world, you, us, them, traverse through challenge and pain, loss and arrival and every experience makes us more. Every experience, even the nonsense ending to a series, forms us and makes us who we are.

Can we be grateful for that? Can we celebrate that while we laugh at our silliness and our mistakes and love each other even more?

Until next time, with love.

Yours in feeling,
Matthew & Chantal

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