I have always thought of the concept of closure as being the
sort of made-up thing that we invent to make ourselves feel better.
I wouldn’t feel so bad about ____ if there had been some
But really, think about a time in your life when closure was
Yes, certainly—you have had an opportunity to speak your
piece—but was that enough? Maybe you feel better in the moment, but does that
feeling stay with you?
In my experience, no.
In my experience, there is no difference between having time for all the
goodbyes in the world and having no chance at a single goodbye. At the end of the day, the result is still
the same. Someone you love is gone. For whatever reason, they are gone. And the
only chance you will have to speak to them again is just in your head sometimes
when you’re daydreaming or feeling nostalgic or longing to hear a voice that
you will never hear again.
The only thing that comes close to matching the sort of
satisfied book-closing type feeling that closure is supposed to provide is the
one thing we have been robbed of to begin with: time.
Time will heal the wound. At its own pace, surely, and with
its own definition of “healing,” but it will happen.
To this day, I cannot see blue nail polish without seeing
the painted fingernails of my porcelain skinned high school friend as I gazed
upon her coffin. She has been dead now for more years than she was alive, and I
never got to say goodbye—but I know it wouldn’t have been enough.
I will never eat spaghetti sauce without comparing it to my
grandmother’s. I told her that I loved her
more times as I sat with her in her final months than I told her in all the
days and weeks and months and years before. It wasn’t enough.
I will never see a man in a cardigan sweater without
remembering my grandfather. I made a point to visit one day toward the end—with
Catch in tow. We walked in the brilliant
sunshine while he told jumbled stories with jumbled words, and the only clear
thing he said all day was to ask me if it ever struck me how lucky we are just to
be here in this beautiful place on this beautiful day. I could not hope for
more perfect final words from my grandfather, and yet I would take a thousand
less meaningful words if it meant I could hear him say them.
It’s not death that has me thinking about closure, though.
The concept applies to loss in any form, I think—and I blame a lack of it
sometimes for why I continue to think about people long past when I should have
stopped wondering. But really, it has nothing to do with closure and everything
to do with grief. I am mourning the loss of a presence in my life—one responsible
for far more smiles than frowns—and so, even though it is not death, but growth
that has separated us, I suppose time will heal this wound as well.
In the meantime, all I can do is continue to live my life to
the fullest—satisfied in the knowledge that I wouldn’t change it for all the
closure in the world.