One person may say — “Closure? Will there ever be an end to this horrible pain of grief? When will I get the closure that I hear about? I’m done. I’m not going to grieve anymore!”
And another person may say — “I don’t want closure. I never want to let go. How can I possibly say goodbye forever to my loved one? I’m so confused. Am I doing it wrong?”
So what’s the answer?
What is closure?
Well, in regard to grieving a loved one, closure is more of a myth than a reality.
In this culture, we think that things have to have a defined ending, tidied up, complete, finished. Let the pain be gone and the grief over, the quicker the better. Well-meaning people may sometimes even ask, “Are you over it yet?”
Have you heard any of the following in your own head?
Maybe when the funeral is over, I’ll feel better.
Surely, by the end of 30 days or certainly one year, it will be over.
If I just give away all of her/his belongings, it will be over. I’ll feel better.
Oh, I know, if I meet someone new, it will then be gone because I’ll only feel joy and it will finally be over!
For some, it’s a constant search and bargaining for something or some way to stop the painful emotions. I certainly can’t blame you for wanting it to be over. Grief is painful and turns your life upside down and sideways.
Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen that way. There are no quick fixes to grief.
The truth is that the pain of grief is directly connected to your love and your memories. Would you really want to close the door to all of that?
Your relationship with your loved isn’t over when a death occurs.
The relationship continues in a different way, through honoring, memories and holding love in our hearts. That part is never over. We will most likely carry them in our heart and thoughts forever.
It’s impossible to put “closure” on a past that included love in your life. Instead, please remember that as the pain heals, the rawness becomes less harsh. The edges smooth and the trauma of the death and ending fades somewhat into the background. It no longer takes center stage in our thoughts and requires less energy to move forward. You can heal and go on without closing doors to your past. Hold your memories gently like a treasure. Visit them from time to time to remind you that you received gifts that will be yours for a lifetime.
Grief softens over time… but the doorway to memories in your heart and to your love will remain.