Unlike many of my friends, I'm not feeling particularly upset or emotional about the last episode. Why? Because it's just a television show. Granted, it's a television show that I like very much, one I've always looked forward to and almost always enjoyed, but still just a television show. And television shows come and go. At some point in the future, some other show will grab me the same way Buffy did, and the way Melrose Place and Doctor Who did before it. C'est la vie.
Anyway, it's not like it's going anywhere. After tonight, if I get the urge to watch Buffy, I can pull out my DVDs or turn on FX, and voila! Instant Buffy. There won't be any new episodes, true, but many of the old episodes are infinitely rewatchable.
The friends I've made through Buffy fandom aren't going anywhere either. Melrose Place has been off the air for four years, but I'm still in regular contact with people I met on the AOL Melrose Place bulletin board. (The original one in TV Gossip, not that horrid "Melrose Mondays" forum they eventually foisted upon us.) Indeed, I've been friends with them longer than Melrose Place was on the air. I have no reason to believe the same won't be true of my Buffy friends. Which is good, because I like them a lot.
Of course, it's hard to predict what's going to happen in the future. It's possible that in five hours I'll be a blubbering, inconsolable mess. I confess that my eyes got a little moist as I read the Buffy tribute at teevee.org this morning, and Joss has done it to me before, so time will tell.