I had the privilege of being with a client this week as they told their team the organization was shutting its doors. Together, my client and I designed the meeting, and I facilitated it.
It was hard, sad, and intense. I wish it didn’t have to happen (chalk another loss up to Covid), and it’s way too early to talk about any silver linings. But I’m proud of how intentional my client and I were in how the news was shared, and it was an honor to be in the room as employees had a whole range of reactions—silence, tears, hugs, questions, anger. My client happens to be a very evolved human being who doesn’t just talk about authenticity but lives it. In this moment, that really mattered.
I was with a coaching client this morning for the last session of our six months together. One thing I love about coaching is that it is short-term, and we can pay attention to the arc of our relationship because we both know the coaching relationship has an ending. We thanked each other, sharing what each of us had learned, and I read a blessing I had written for them.
Several years ago, I was asked to facilitate a “Goodbye to Our Marriage” gathering for good friends who were getting divorced because one of them came out as queer. That stands out as one of the facilitation highlights of my life. We all shared what we loved about them individually and about their marriage, and then we feasted together.
You see where I am going with this—endings are important. Culturally, we pay a lot more attention to beginnings. Births, grand openings, launches, happy announcements, possibility. We have a harder time honoring the sadness, uncertainty, discomfort, and messiness of endings. So, we lose out on the beautiful things they can give us.
Sometimes there is no time to plan. Or if there is, our energy is too low to be intentional. The best we can do is just keep surviving, and that’s sacred, too.
But if you know a good thing is coming to a close—a team member leaving, a book club fizzling out, but no one is really talking about it, maybe an entire organization who’s fulfilled its mission and needs to say goodbye—think about how you can create an honoring ending. I’ve created a resource for going through change and loss together, and you can download it here.
May you have the wisdom and strength you need to make whatever decisions are in front of you today. I’m pulling for you.