A keeping-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat movie would be a great disappointment when at the height of it’s intensity the ‘The End’ sign appears. It will probably leave you with great frustration, anger and a feeling that you will never watch a movie made by that producer again. How the movie ends determines the success of everything that came before the end!
Naturally, even when events or relationships come to an unexpected end, there is still a loss of some sort to be experienced. Depending on your mentee’s, and your own, past experience, the coping method of dealing with this loss could cause either, or both, of you to draw a line through all the efforts that you have made as a mentor over your time together. Research in the fields of attachment theory and therapeutic closures show that it is crucial to end the mentoring relationship well by preparing for the loss and celebrating the accomplishments and growth experienced on the mentoring journey.
Ending, or closure, sounds very final. We like to use the word redefinition, since no mentoring relationship needs to end, but all need to be redefined to take into account the transition of contact at the end of the agreed mentoring commitment. A chapter in your lives is drawing to a close, so what does the next chapter look like for each of you?
If only we could process every ending, or even setback, with this healthy approach, think how resilient we would become. We get knocked down, but we will get up again!