About “Closure” Mary E. Latela 9/13/2015
After the 9/11/2001 tragedies, within a week or so, people were still very heavily emotional – angry, frustrated, sad, grieving, crying, numb – and someone used a word which intrudes upon our personal space WRONGLY.
It is the word “closure.” We want people to not be overwhelmed with grief, so we wish them “closure.” A man or woman is on death row while a devastated family of a crime victim waits for “closure.”
I spoke with the Mother of a young man was a victim of capital punishment. She impressed me with her courage. After all, there is not much support and healing for the family of the perpetrator of a murder. The family may be shunned, judged to be unfit, ignored. Yes, they too suffer that impenetrable loss of a person who was dear to them. And the loss is not erased by time or by a war or by replacing that lost one with someone else.
After 9/11, it seems that people who have no expertise in the grieving process, who know nothing about family dynamics, who have not been orphaned or widows after a violent attack …. these people who must have some way of putting loss into a neat compartment think we should all move on. It’s time for closure. How dare they?
I have had some losses which I still carry. I don’t actively share them with everyone, but there is a place in my heart where they remain. Once in a while, I take them out and cry over them. But these hollow places do not go away. There is no closed door on loss.
So before we make a habit of “moving on” every time there is a tragedy in our cities and towns, in our schools, perhaps we could let in a little of that grief. If we ever expect to live a more peaceful existence, perhaps this is the place to start to heal.