I experienced it in a series of quiet moments. Walking in the front door in the morning and realizing this would not be “my place” much longer, watching the team execute with competence and compassion but realizing that it wouldn’t continue, and doing routine tasks with an unusual enjoyment but also a sense of finality. Michelle and I had made the decision together. The work was good and valuable and productive, but we both knew that the time had come for something new. It was what I had done for the last six or seven years, my professional identity. And it was ending.
Living with a psychologist I knew the symptoms: grief, loss, a temptation to negotiate an alternate ending. This was the end of a major and fulfilling part of life. A small death.