I have been thinking about the word closure. You hear it bandied about when people who are not grieving themselves talk about grief. Some of my fellow bloggers blame its overuse or use at all on the media during times of tragedy. I don’t know maybe that is where it started. For me, I first felt it when Cory died and four months later I ran into a fella who worked down the street from my office. I was on my way to the bank and we met up at the corner. He asked how I was. I told him the truth (bad of me to answer the question without giving a thought to his comfort), and he replied rather quickly, “Aren’t you over that yet?” This man had four children. I was taken aback by his lame insensitive question. So, I replied to him, “I will never be over it.” I never spoke to him again and I suspect he no longer went to the bank at 1:00pm to avoid running into me. But, who knows? Maybe he didn’t even understand what I had said.
Last week on Mother’s Day was the anniversary of Cory’s crossing over the rainbow bridge. I didn’t cry. But, the date arrived and I took some time to reflect. That is where all the thoughts about “closure” came from.
I think people want closure because grief can be very uncomfortable for some friends, co-workers, and even other family members. Sometimes that leads to well intentioned but not very helpful encounters because they want us to wrap it up, bring grief to a conclusion and get back to our former selves. Some grievers try to be considerate, and try to comply with this notion of closure and the need to “snap out of it” because God knows we don’t want to disrupt someone else with our sadness.
I am not sure why we allow the comfort of others to add yet another burden on us. So, as the song from Frozen that became such a hit with children under five says “LET IT GO!” There is no fast track to ending grief. There is no closure. Not in the sense that it is portrayed and desired by non-grievers. Besides, what would closure actually be? Would it be forgetting about your loved one and all the memories and feelings?
It has been a long time since Cory died. Some days it feels like yesterday and others it feels like a lifetime since he was here.The anniversary of his death still makes my heart ache. I still ponder how different my life would be if he had not died. I wonder too what kind of a man he would be today. So I am here to testify that “closure” isn’t possible when someone we love leaves us forever. I am glad.
PS—Apparently the Catholic School administrators re-admitted the little girl who had been dismissed after missing too many days of school due to her cancer treatment. If you took the time to write them “mahalo”.