Stage 2: Ending

What It Is

Some aspect of life as you knew it has come to an end. Whether it’s a marriage, the life of a loved one, a career, or decades of living paycheck-to-paycheck, it’s over. And there’s no going back.

Most Common Themes

  • Grief. Sometimes grief goes undetected by others, and sometimes the reverse is true — everyone sees it but the person experiencing it.
  • Relationships shift and change.
  • Feelings about meaning and purpose can change.
  • Decision-making can become very challenging. Decision paralysis is as common as impulsive behavior.

What You Can Do

Slow Down. Take your time and learn how to manage the change that has occurred. Resist the urge to rush through what is a natural and necessary stage of the transition process.

Here are some tips for letting your Ending flow:

  • Remind yourself that endings, even those of the saddest sort, eventually lead to new beginnings.
  • Don’t let anyone (including you!) deter you from taking the time you need to feel your feelings and experience your experience. Rushing through an Ending is never a good idea. Endings take months (at least) and often require well over a year.
  • You might think you have a lot of decisions to make. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find that most of them can wait. The only decisions you have to make right now are the urgent ones.