It is now three weeks since the Supernatural series finale "Carry On" aired. If you read my "Threads" review of the finale, you know that I think it is a masterpiece of artistic narration. Everyone involved with its creation deserves to be immensely proud of their heartfelt gift to the SPNFamily. Predictably, with so much at stake delivered with such intense, emotional power, we are all now experiencing the fallout of that ending. I know I’m reeling from its impact. What is unexpected, though, is what fans are feeling.
From numerous conversations with friends, and weeks of seeing/hearing what’s been happening online, it’s safe to say that many (most?) in the fandom are struggling to process how they feel after seeing the last (at least for now) Supernatural episode in the series. I count myself among those who were deeply disappointed in how Supernatural ended, but even the fans who loved the show’s final chapter are finding if difficult to cope with it ending. However you feel about "Carry On", the creative team put immense effort into concluding a saga as epic as Supernatural, and the cast (Jared, Jensen and earlier, Misha) opened themselves to bare raw emotions during their final scenes. If we want to respect their, and our, emotional investments in this 15 year journey we've been on together, we need to genuinely admit and process the feelings generated by Supernatural's finale – and it generated a lot of feelings. We were all very passionate about the show so it makes sense that we miss it, but this emotional whiplash goes way beyond anything I (and others) expected.
The way I see it, we are all dealing with multiple triggers at once. First, we have to come to terms with the loss of something that was a big part of our lives. Secondly, every one of us had a different reaction to how the show ended, and that’s adding to our emotional payload. Thirdly, the community to which we’ve belonged is evolving. The media surrounding the show is moving on, relationships are shifting and our place in that community is inevitably changing. Lastly, all this change is taking place within the context of human emotions, so we’re all dealing with each other, experiencing both the treasured support and ugly contention that entails.
So… fans who loved the ending keep trying to convince fans who didn’t that they’re wrong. Fans who hated the ending keep trying to convince fans who loved it that they’re wrong. Why is it a competition? Why does our interpretation of the ending need validation from others? We all want our view to be the right view, the majority view, so that our opinion and feelings are vindicated. Some fans are lashing out rather than feeling alone. Some are being driven into the shadows to avoid becoming a target. Still others are keeping to themselves because their emotions are personal, or confusing, or sad, or whatever they’re feeling. But there isn't one right answer, so rage or fear, cruelty or hurt is being piled on top of our loss. It’s isolating us all at a time when we should be supporting each other more than ever.
So I asked The WFB writers (official team and guests) if they would try to put into words how they’re feeling. Words is what we do, so could we all stop, reflect, acknowledge what we’re feeling, then try to express those feelings so that other might recognize themselves in our words? Maybe hearing that others are experiencing similar reactions will give us all some comfort. We are not trying to add to the tally of one side or the other in the finale debate, but rather share that there is commonality in our diversity. We’re all feeling something different, and that’s okay. We’re in this together.
In most cases, I’m withholding the names associated with each personal reflection. I’m hoping anonymity helps you see yourself in the description of the feelings rather than identifying with favorite writers or character biases. Some writers chose to identify themselves, though, and that’s okay too.
There is a wide spectrum of reactions represented here, but recognize that we are just a few people. Maybe you see yourself in pieces of several of us combined, or maybe you don’t see yourself here at all. The point is that none of us are experiencing the same things, but we’re all experiencing something. We’re processing the best we can.
Own your feelings. They’re honest and real, but also respect that everyone else’s are just as real. It’s one of the things Sam, Dean and Castiel learned to do over the past 15 years, and it can be one more thing Supernatural helps us to do, too. Don't read this if you think it might add to your spiral, but give it a shot if it would help you sense that you are not alone. Because You. Are. Not. Alone.
Will writing about it help? Will writing MORE about it help? Something's gotta help. I have had an easier time dealing with the deaths of REAL PEOPLE than Dean's death. Dean's. Death. I can barely admit that that's what I watched two weeks ago. That finale was beautiful and gut-wrenching. I could feel the love that everyone involved poured into that episode. Yet I am still crying, still waking up thinking about Dean being dead and Sam being alone. I am so sad.
Part of this feeling is sadness over the end of the show and that would be here even if I had gotten the ending I wanted. I did not get the ending I wanted. I got the one I specifically did NOT want above all other possible endings - Sam and Dean separated. The heaven scenes saved me from compete despair. Andrew Dabb wrote an amazing episode that ripped Sam and Dean apart AND kept them together for eternity - that's an incredible feat - but it just HURTS. Watching Dean die and Sam grieve for decades has kept my brain screaming "It's not fair!!! Dean deserved so much better and Sam deserved to KEEP his brother!!!! After all they went through and all they sacrificed for so many!!! NO NO NO!!!!" Don't you dare take this opportunity to remind me that "it's not fair" has been one of THE most consistent themes of this show throughout. I know that. But...just....NOT DEAN! Death is not allowed to claim Dean.
This episode also managed to hit on some very primal fears for mine, chief among them being the idea that on any 'ole normal work day (and it WAS a normal work day for the Winchesters), someone you love can suddenly be gone forever. They are there your entire life, they are essential, and now they are just gone. Like being killed in a car accident on the way home from the store on some otherwise-perfect day. If you are the one left behind, like Sam, your entire world has changed in an instant and there is not a single thing you could have done to prevent it. In a situation like that, you have absolutely NO control over something so essential to your own life and to your own happiness. That is completely terrifying. It also hit on an even older long-held, bizarre fear of mine...from Dean's perspective, KNOWING you are about to die and knowing you suddenly have only minutes to tell someone you love everything you most need to say to them. (In this Covid era, it's so much worse that many cannot even have THAT.) Since I was a teenager, I have been haunted by stories of people pinned in a car crash or industrial accident where everyone knows that once they free them from the wreckage, blood loss will kill them. They are alive, but will be dead as soon as whatever is pinning them is moved. It is one of my longest-held fears that I would be the one about to die OR that I would be the one racing to the scene, trying desperately to get there in time to hear those last words. And THERE IT WAS - both sides of that deep-seated fear, playing out right in front of me with the two characters I love most in the world (who may as well be real people to me after fifteen years).
And now I'm dealing with something that has brought me joy for fifteen years morphing the thing that is making me cry daily. Like the death of an actual essential friend. How can this thing I need, this thing I have used as a way of coping, as an escape for all these years, now be the thing I need an escape FROM? I do not have a clue how to do this.
The night of the finale I actually dreamed that my best friends were dead and I was alone like Sam. I dreamed I was looking at them, lying dead in coffins. It was so vivid, I was incredibly relieved to wake up, shaken, but so glad it was only a horrible dream. The finale REALLY got to me, people!
I knew the end was coming for over a year. I even told myself to be happy that these men we were so lucky to have for fifteen years were going to finally be able to be home more. To be fathers and husbands in a way that was actually fair to their families. I still think that. But when the price of that is losing something I love so much, I’m terribly, selfishly less enthusiastic.
I am trying to do things to make myself feel better. I can’t say they’ll work for anyone else. I don’t even know if they’ll work for me. I feel like I'm flailing around for ANYTHING and at times like this I'm glad I'm not inclined towards drugs or heavy drinking. Though some drinking has helped.
I walk outside every morning, for at least an hour, to clear my head. Even if it’s really cold out. I used to listen to classic rock while I walked but right now it can't be that, so it has to be podcasts - still Supernatural-adjacent. Rob and Rich's Kings of Con (the Podcast) or this week’s Michael Rosenbaum's Inside of You podcast interviewing Tim Omundson.
I started a rewatch - just one episode once a week on Thursdays. I was afraid to do it but my spouse, who has suffered through fifteen years of my obsession, said she wanted to watch it with me from the beginning and I was too surprised and too touched to say no. As I watched the "Pilot" for the first time in many years, I fell in love with 20-something Sam and Dean immediately, all over again, and the fact that I only thought about Dean dying 50 times instead of 1000 seemed like a win. They were magic right from the start. I could not NOT love them.
I am trying to pursue my own (probably financially ill-advised) Supernatural project to share in January. I don’t care if I’m too late or end up being the only one interested - I’m doing it anyway because I love this family of fans and still want to have a Supernatural project to look forward to.
I very reluctantly read a trusted friend’s fan fic about what life was like for Sam between Dean’s death and his own. I'll link it here but please read the tags/warning. I don't expect anyone else to want to read about how Sam got by until he joined Dean in heaven - I didn't even know if I wanted to, but I found this reassuring and realistic.
Mostly I’ve talking to anyone who will listen in the SPNFamily - very close friends - strangers online - anyone.
I mailed some gifts to fans in the U.S. (Illinois, Georgia, and Texas) as well as several that went overseas to Portugal, Ireland, and South Africa; people who were strangers to me and doing that reminded me that we are everywhere - all over the world - and we are loving this same thing together with equal intensity. We truly are not alone even though it sure as hell feels that way when I am lying awake at 3:00 in the morning crying over the finale, then trying to fall asleep so I can spend the next day at work attempting to somehow NOT think about Dean dying and Sam being alone. (Whoa - when I typed that, after I typed "Dean" the next suggested word by my device was “driving” not “dying”. That’s hopeful. Maybe it’s a sign. I’ll take anything right now!). FYI I have not yet succeeded in NOT thinking about Dean dying while at work. That finale hit me so hard I wonder if I need some professional help sometimes. But I'm trying to lean on my SPNFamily instead; on those who understand how painful it is for some of us to go through this loss. I am here for others to lean on me too. I truly hope that, eventually, the love for this beautiful thing that was created and nurtured is what will remain. Until then, I'll be DM-ing my Supernatural friends at 3:00 am for the foreseeable future.
Supernatural is over. The rational side of me understands that 15 years is a long run and that everything comes to an end, but feelings aren't always rational, and I have found myself feeling sad primarily because Dean Winchester is dead. I saw a GIF of him the other day, smiling playfully at the camera, and tears started welling up and I felt embarrassed because I've lived long enough to suffer agonizing real-life losses. What is a fictional character in comparison to real-life heartbreak?
Yet, stories are important. Stories help us escape; they inform us, entertain us, inspire us. The protagonists of these stories become important to us. Personally, I re-read favorite books often, returning to those familiar people and places and events over and over. In my mind, Anne lives perpetually in Green Gables. Scout and Jem still try to catch a glimpse of their reclusive neighbor. Mary Lennox explores a long-lost garden, and Jim Hawkins wakes in the night with his heart pounding, imagining a parrot screeching, "Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!" But, for me, Dean is no longer driving the roads of America, playing Bob Seger and cracking jokes with his brother, because we saw him die. Someday, perhaps, I will be able to picture him in Baby on those roads, but for now foremost in my thoughts is how his story ended. And endings to things I love or people I care about always make me cry. Every year in June, I find it hard to say goodbye to my sixth graders. I struggle not to get teary because they're so excited for summer vacation and to move on to middle school, and it's right and good that they do so, but I will still miss interacting with them in a classroom: three years (4th-6th), five days a week, seven hours a day, 180 days a year -- that's a lot of time invested, and I may never see them again! I delight in their joy and I balance my sense of loss with the fond memories and the pride I have in what we achieved together. Holding on and letting go - the story of life.
So for now, I'll feel this sorrow and trust that, with the passing of time, I will be able to once again see him with his brother traveling the back roads of the United States, saving people and hunting things.
How do I feel now that Supernatural has ended? On the surface that’s a simple question, but the answer is … complicated.
I feel confused. I expected to be overwhelmed with sadness and loss, but I’m not feeling those emotions at all. Why don’t I feel an emptiness over Supernatural ending? Why am I not sad?
I’m feeling defeated. I’ve woken up every night for no reason but then haven’t been able to go back to sleep – and that’s on the nights when I go to sleep at all. I’m not thinking about anything in particular at 3am, but I have a vague sense that something is wrong. My mind keeps searching for answers but I really don’t know what questions I’m trying to solve, so there I lay, listening to the wind outside my window. Thank goodness for melatonin and Tylenol PM.
I don’t feel like myself. It feels like a mid-life identity crisis, but I thought those were one-and-done! I’m not at all interested in questioning my life choices and redefining who I am as a person, but here I am, doing that all over again.
Mostly I’m angry, and resentful, and all manner of negative emotions that I don’t like having. A large part of those feelings were triggered by show-related events surrounding its ending that I don’t want to share but were very unexpected and very hurtful. But I’m trying to separate that anger from the anger I feel because the show that I love killed Dean.
I get angry every time someone says “it had to end this way.” No, it didn’t. This ending was a choice made by the writers. There were many other ways the ending could have been true to the characters and the story yet still resulted in “peace when you are done.” I’m angry that the brothers didn’t live out their lives together and didn’t get a chance to be happy in life. I’m angry that Supernatural betrayed some of the underlying tenets that drew me to it in the first place, like goodness defeating evil. I’m angry that it chose to reflect real life and give us yet another example that horrible things happen to good people and life isn’t fair. I know that about real life! Supernatural was my escape from those things! It was my inspiration. It gave its fans strength and an unwavering message of hope that no matter how impossible things seem, never give up and you’ll eventually find a way to makes things better. It was about heroes and the strength of family, and how regular people can fight to make the world a better place. But it ended by defeating one of the champions of everything I stated above. Sorry, just kidding. Life’s a b, then you die. I don’t believe that for one second, so why did this show end up being about that?
So I’m scared that means I made a mistake in loving something that didn’t deserve my love or time or attention for all these years. Jensen said he didn't like the ending when he first heard it but that now he's okay with it. I wonder if that will also happen to the fans who didn't like the ending, after they've had the months of processing time that Jensen has had.
For now, given the anger and betrayal I feel, I don't want to rewatch episodes. I don’t want to find new insights to write about. I don’t want to go to conventions, or watch fan vids. If I see Sam and Dean together in the Impala, I’m going to lose it. It’s as if that spike in the barn punctured the bubble of joy that was inside of me that loved Supernatural. I don’t feel that love anymore.
So I'm scared that means I’ve lost Supernatural forever. Does that mean I've lost Supernatural forever?
I hope not. I think it means I’m in some stage of grief. I don’t know which stage without looking it up, but I know it’s uncomfortable here. So I’m giving it time until I get to that last stage of grief that means I can love the good memories again, and appreciate how much Supernatural has added to my life.
It’s funny, but in the weeks, days, hours, minutes leading up to the “Supernatural” finale, I was pretty calm about the whole thing. This was the inevitable end, one that was six months delayed from the original plan. I had time to process. After all, TV shows end. “Supernatural” had done what 99.9% of shows before hadn’t done, last an amazing 15 years. It was a good ride and we were left with a lot of good memories. The outpouring of love and affection for this accomplishment from the entire SPN Family was a nice way to send the show off to its final hour.
Then the finale aired. I was blown away and impacted far more emotionally than I ever anticipated. After all, you don’t watch a show this long and not be emotionally invested in the plight of the characters. They’re practically family. I had trouble sleeping for about a week, trying to reconcile my shattered heart inside. Hard to watch, oh yes, but this was never a show that went for the happy ending. I knew what I was watching. As sad as the ending was though, I felt it was the right one. I also knew this wouldn’t be the end of the SPN Family. I knew that fandom would carry on, much like the title of the finale suggested. I was a bit taken back that there were many that didn’t feel that way.
I’m sad to see the implosion of the fans online and all that goodwill that led up to the finale, but I have seen this ugliness before. I had hoped we had grown past it, but in all retrospect it makes sense. This is a very passionate fandom and always has been. It’s that passion that has kept “Supernatural” on the air this long. Something so emotionally riveting, something with such a ground breaking impact that it shook the very foundation of everyone watching, it is bound to trigger all sorts of reactions online. After all, we’re individuals, we all deal with trauma differently. We all have had different experiences in life with grief and loss. Lashing out is a natural human response when feeling so much hurt. Lashing out is a natural human response when feeling such a devastating loss.
Instead of engaging with fans online, I’ve found myself if anything going back and reading my old fandom books. I noticed strangely that I never got a copy of “Family Don’t End in Blood” (forgive me Lynn!). I got my copy delivered from Amazon rather quickly and started reading. There are amazing fan stories out there. “Supernatural” has had a real impact on so many lives in ways it never intended. All of the chapters are amazing in that book, but none had a bigger impact on me than the one from Jared Padalecki. That chapter right there sums up exactly why “Supernatural” was a phenomenon like none other. We as a family were all looking out for each other, pulling each other out of dark moments in our lives, just because that is what Sam and Dean would do. Always keep fighting. That is not a tagline. It’s a way of life.
Will I miss “Supernatural” on my TV every week? All depends how you look at it. Yes and no. Will I miss new episodes? Not really. In the last few seasons from a story perspective, they’ve been quite agonizing to watch. The quality of the episodes has really dropped since the beginning when I fell in love with this smart, intricate, well acted show. All I was left with was a well acted show, leaving me less each week to discuss plot twists with fervor. If anything, my lashing out happened on a weekly basis there for a while, lamenting over what happened to the plots and writing.
I’m grateful that I was a spectator on this ride, but I always knew, no matter how engaged I was in promoting this show, that this wasn’t my story. It belonged to others. That’s the nature of television, no matter how enthusiastic the fans are. As a fan I was allowed to criticize and praise, but that was the extent of my role. It was therapeutic. It allowed me to work out my discontent and share my joy with other fans. Discussing “Supernatural” gave me other points of view that I didn’t catch when I saw it, which happened practically every week. I was able to help others through their confusion too. A lot of these discussions didn’t change my mind. Discussing it just made me feel better. As with many walks of life, talking through things helps.
“Supernatural” is not over for me. There’s 327 episodes sitting in front of me, ready for viewing at any time. There’s nothing preventing me from that continuing to be a weekly ritual. Now that I’ve seen the end, I can watch the entire series with a new perspective, a new set of eyes. Perhaps I’ll notice patterns that I never picked up on before, nuances in the way the story was portrayed. Perhaps I’ll notice acting choices that used to perplex me and now they won’t. Perhaps I’ll just have comfort in knowing that for Sam and Dean, everything turns out okay in the end.
So how do I feel today? Grateful. I was part of something that has never quite happened in the history of television. I came out with a ton of great memories, and some really spectacular meltdowns too. Overall, I came out a much better human being. That’s better than all the bad plots that were thrown our way through the years. That’s better than one emotionally wrecking episode that may not have gone the way some fans wanted. I have found my peace. I hope one day you all will as well.
- Alice Jester
Someone asked me how I felt now that Supernatural is over. I just shrugged my shoulders. I feel just kinda meh.
But then I thought about it. And I thought about it some more. And the more I thought about it, the truth is, I’m angry.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
And I’m not talking about how the show ended.
Rewind back to January of 2020. Every week I was able to look forward to a new episode. I could look forward to reading through my Twitter feed and see what my friends were thinking about the Show, and the direction it was going, and the speculation and anticipation of what was inevitably to come. I was making plans to watch the finale with friends, knowing that we would all cry our eyes out but it would be worth it to be together with friends.
But then it was the impeachment, and that began to filter its way into my timeline, and it was just yuck.
And then it was the presidential primary, with all the backstabbing and hate speech and everyone has to share their damn opinion on all of it… so, just more Yuck.
And then it was freakin Covid – in the news, All the News, in my Twitter feed, on my Facebook, everywhere. And it was all doom and gloom, and more doom and gloom, and things started shutting down, so then it was more doom and gloom. And then production on the Show stopped.
At that point, I pretty much abandoned Twitter. I stopped watching the news. It was all just too much. Too much doom. Too much gloom. Just too much of everything negative, all the time, and my anxiety was through the roof, and I just couldn’t take any more of it.
So between the Covid lockdowns and the Covid shut down of production – the finale was now off. And so was any hope of getting together with friends to mourn the loss of our beloved Show.
And then the riots. And the presidential election. And the virus that just kept spreading and spreading. And if I dared to look at Twitter, UGH – everyone spewing their opinions about all of it, and most of the time, that meant just a bunch of flaming idiots who can’t even spell politics or science, forget understanding it.
So I gave up. The online community that I thought I was a part of, this so-called SPNFamily, it was just gone. Dead to me. I disappeared from Twitter, and I swear to Chuck, no one even noticed. I can literally count on one hand the number of friends who bothered to see if I was doing okay, who bothered to stay in touch with me.
By the time the Show began its final run of episodes, I was kinda over it. I watched those last episodes more out of obligation to finish the show than any sense of emotion or urgency or attachment.
I have loved this show and these characters for so long. I have looked forward to this final season and the final episode for so long. I have wanted to ride this emotional rollercoaster for so long. And yet everything else from 2020 - and all the ugliness and YUCK on Twitter – all of it absolutely destroyed my passion and love for this show.
I cried when Cas died. I felt bad when God wasn’t anything more than a whimpering Chuck left alone. And oh how my heart hurt and ached in Dean’s final moments.
And the next morning? The same old doom and gloom on the news, the same old political bulls**t on the news, the same old ridiculous fighting in this so-called SPNFamily… and within hours of that glorious finale, I was right back to feeling just so over all of it.
And that makes me angry. I wanted to be sad. I wanted to feel sad. I wanted to talk to my friends and be sad with them. I wanted to talk about all the good parts of the Show and the characters and the finale. But there’s no room for that. There’s no room for open-minded thought. There’s no room for honest feelings. There’s no room for mature discussion, about the Show, about the virus, about anything.
But, then again, I’m alive and my family is healthy, and I have a handful of great friends.
I just don’t have an SPNFamily anymore.
Whatever you’re feeling now, you’re not alone.
That was the prompt for what I’m sitting down to write, and I’m struck by how true that is, and how deceptively simple it makes all this seem. How am I feeling? All kinds of ways.
I feel incredibly lucky that I loved both the season finale and the series finale. I liked that they wrapped up the season the episode before, with Castiel’s heartfelt admission and his goodbye, and then we had Chuck’s demotion to a mere human, and Jack’s ascension to something close to our idea of a more benevolent God. I loved that the very last episode wrapped up Sam and Dean’s fifteen year story and did it justice.
I sobbed my way through the second half of the episode and it was excruciatingly painful, but it wasn’t unexpected. If someone had asked me how I wanted Supernatural to end, it wouldn’t have been with Dean dying relatively young and Sam living on without him. And yet, the barn scene felt right – it felt like Supernatural. This show has always been dark – in the early years, we would all constantly rail at Eric Kripke for breaking our hearts again and again. It was never Pollyanna; it was never happily ever after. It has always been a show that made me FEEL. That scene was no exception – in fact, it made me feel more than any other scene in the entire show. I can’t ask for more than that, that a fictional story about fictional characters moved me so much – that it made me love these characters so much that I was truly devastated when they died.
I think if the finale had been missing its final scene, it might have been so dark that I would have felt traumatized for a long time, so I’m grateful for that final scene in Heaven. It felt like the ending to a beloved story that, while I hate that I’ve reached the end of the book, I’m smiling through my tears knowing that things are as they should be. I feel lucky that Jared and Jensen and the entire cast and crew cared enough to give it their all in that episode. I feel lucky that Sam and Dean, after all the trauma and pain and loss they’ve been through, got their happy ending – and will have it forever. I don’t know how many times I’ve rewatched the bridge scene, with either “Carry On” or the fan edit with “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” to see Sam and Dean – and Jared and Jensen – smile and nod and look so damn proud of what they’ve done and so damn happy with where they are. I don’t even know if it’s the fictional characters who make me so happy when I watch that, or knowing that the two real people who put their hearts and souls into this for fifteen years are this satisfied and proud of what they’ve accomplished.
If I could just stay right there, my feelings wouldn’t be so mixed. If I’d stayed in my little bubble, I’d be incredibly sad that the show is over but still on a high from its ending and how its cast felt about that ending. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and their feelings, but it felt terrible to see people lashing out about the finale and hating it – giving it horrible ratings on IMDB, boycotting the network, tweeting at the actors, throwing around accusations of conspiracies. All the good feelings I’d had from the show itself got tangled up with all the hate in the fandom. I kept wondering how that felt to Jared and Jensen and Misha, who had worked so hard on those last three episodes – and who seem to really care about this show and their characters and each other. I kept thinking about how proud and excited they were, how they kept saying we can’t wait for fans to see these episodes… and then they got so much hate. It still upsets me to think about it.
The other mixed feelings are just plain old loss. I loved this show. It was a big part of my life. I’m heartbroken that it’s ended and that we may never get to see these characters again. Their story may really be over. I don’t think it’s entirely sunk in yet; there’s still a little denial going on when I try to face the reality of that loss. Hopefully, eventually, we’ll all work through whatever feelings we’re having, and come out on the other side. Maybe by the time we get a reboot?
The Supernatural series finale feels like a gift I can never repay. It gave me so much. It had softness, humor, happiness, and yes, sadness.
We got to live with the Winchesters. We saw them jog. We saw them greeting the morning with their beautiful, soft dog.
We were invited into their kitchen, their bedrooms, even the never before seen laundry room. They let us live with them one last time.
They got to have fun. To be brothers. And we were there. Either with joy over pie, or being finally able to pie your brother in the face.
They took us on one last hunt. We got to see how brilliantly they are in figuring out a hunt that their father never could.
We got to see them save two little brothers and kill all the monsters. They even attached the last hunt to their first ever vampire hunt.
They also let us into their most precious moment. Their earthly goodbye.
And yes, it hurts. Tears are falling as I write.
Dean’s death was so tragic and sudden. But, it was also him dying doing what he loves with whom he loves. He died a hero, and knowing that he was.
For so long, he feared being abandoned, left alone. But with him, until the end, was his beloved baby brother.
We got to hear his goodbye, got to see him be vulnerable, his true self with all of his walls gone. It even strengthened a through line for the entire series. The love Sam and Dean have for each other. A love that not even God could break.
And it reminded me about what I feel is all too often forgotten.
Pain and sadness are not negative emotions. They can be celebrations of love. Appreciation for that which touched your heart and made you feel.
It is said that to love is to say, “I don’t mind hurting for you.”
And Sam and Dean Winchester deserve our tears, even weeks later.
We would have been sad anyway, but this gave us a way to truly grieve. The way we needed to.
Not only did we get Dean’s devastatingly beautiful goodbye, we got to see our pain reflected in Sam. Even knowing his pain exceeded our own.
Sam Winchester again invited us to live with him. To live his agony. In the Bunker that was empty of all family, and therefore no longer home.
They not only told us that it was okay to cry, but we’ll cry with you.
And, we got to see him keep fighting. He kept fighting until it was time for him to go.
We got to see the Winchester legacy in Sam’s son, Dean. The world needs a Winchester. And the young man with the anti-possession tattoo, let Sam know his fight was done.
Then we got happy endings.
Bobby who sacrificed himself for his boys way back in Season 10, is now out of Heaven’s jail and enjoying his perfect Heaven.
A Heaven that is no longer just memories, but also peace and bliss.
We got to learn of Rufus.
And we got to learn that Castiel was not suffering in the Empty, but had gotten to do what was his goal for so long ... to rebuild a better Heaven with his child he believed in, Jack.
We were given the gift of seeing Dean go first, like Dean always did. Exploring the new place to make sure it’s okay for Sam.
We also saw him enjoy being with Baby, driving a beautiful winding road.
We got our theme song that gave away the ending back in season one. In two different versions, one a celebration of the road so far, and one hauntingly beautiful, fitting for the reward at journey’s end.
And we got to see their reunion. The ultimate happy ending. They are now together forever, happy and at peace. Just as the song always promised.
Beyond the wonder that was the episode, they also gave us gifts to enjoy forever: possibilities. In not specifying who Sam had his son with, we can create our own stories. In ending at their reunion in Heaven, we can make what they do next whatever we wish. It’s a gift that will give as long as our imaginations hold. It’s amazing.
They even gave us callbacks, and the ability to look at the series with fresh eyes. We keep finding new things to hurt over, and new things to enjoy. Another gift to last a lifetime.
They gave me the gift of having my favorite episode be the last one. My favorite scene is at the very end. I’ll be forever grateful.
And then after they gave us all that, and the fifteen years prior, they took time out of their finale...
To thank us.
They made our love for them canon. And their appreciation, too.
My heart is touched in ways that words can never express.
Thus, the finale was a gift of gifts I can never repay. But I will never stop sharing my appreciation for that gift and that of the most amazing series as a whole.
- Cat Dean
So there you have it. A sampling of how a few of us are feeling and coping with the finale, the end of the show, the end of an era. Some of these essays were written a week ago; others were written today. Feelings are ever evolving so all we can do is take note and process what's presented to us each day. Time will heal us all. We just don't know what that healing will look like yet.
Thank you to the writers who shared their reactions with us. It helped us each to write it out, but still, it wasn't easy.
If it would help you (writing is sometimes therapeutic), you are welcome to try to express how you're feeling in the comments below. It can be as simple as a "Like" click on a posting or the article, or an "I agree with fan #x above" or it can be a full out "dear diary" entry. Only two rules: First, this is a forum for your reaction to the finale/ last episodes, not a place to debate if what we saw was right or wrong. It is what it is. We can't change that, but we can move forward with how it made us feel. Second, and most importantly, please don't disagree with anyone. We feel what we feel. This is a place where we reach out our hands and support each other - no matter if we understand or agree. Your comments will appear on each individual page where they're written, so if you write it on page 1, that's where it will appear (Comments aren't repeated in the "All Pages" mode.)
In the mean time, The WFB has your back. We'll be here, talking about Supernatural with you... until you don't want to talk about it any more.