Saturday, November 10, 2007

Closure

Closure...what is this elusive idea?? Some kind of miracle event that will be able to close the door on the past, that will somehow neatly clean up the mess, that will provide you with what you need to move forward?

Whoever came up with this idea obviously has not endured any trauma in his life, or he would know that this idea is just that--ideal...but certainly not a reality.

You always hear about the families of victims of violent crimes, and how once the criminal is in prison for the crime they've committed against the family member, then the family has gotten the closure they needed...

What??

That is simply everyone else telling them that now the bad man is behind bars that it will be easier for them to move on...bullshit. They still have to wake up every morning feeling good, until they remember what's happened; then the nightmare continues--long after justice has been served.

We tend to do that, we tell people things to make ourselves feel better, because we don't like to think about them in pain. Like with me, when I was going through hell, you wouldn't believe how many times I heard "At least you have school to take your mind off things..." riiiight, you try reading Abnormal Psych when you are at your lowest of lows...it took me 25 minutes to read one page, and when I was done, I had no idea what I had just read. But yeah, it's a great thing I had school...

A friend of mine lost her husband, and she heard, on a daily basis, "It's great that you have grandchildren that you can spend time with..." as though they could replace her husband of 35 years.

Both of us knew and appreciated that our friends were trying to be helpful and point out the positives in our lives, but really at a time like that, there is nothing that takes the sting off. There is only time. There is no magic potion, secret solution, drug, prayer...nothing that will cure the pain. A switch does not flip--"Oh! I've got closure!" and then you are happy. There is only time.

And even with time, you have forever changed, whether it be for better or worse, you are a little more leery, a little more tentative, protected, guarded, whatever you want to call it. You know the pain of losing someone who is such a major presence in your life, and the thought of it happening again is terrifying...and exhausting. Why would you subject yourself to that again?

But, in time, you can start to understand why. You can start to see colors again, and you slowly, slowly become less numb. Things begin to taste, smell and feel again...a little of the guard begins to melt away. And now, what you can contribute to someone else's life is probably so much more than you could have ever offered them before. Because you have this new layer of understanding, this empathy that you never realized. Not only within a relationship, but also friendships, family, and even working relationships. You just get it a little bit more. And that does help to take the sting off...

But, this new you that emerges is scarred, and will be for a long time. There is no closure, there is no quick fix. Divorce papers, a prison sentence, grandchildren...sure, they may help, they may be a band-aid, or a catalyst for forward progress, but if it's peace-of-mind you are looking for, you will be sorely disappointed. This can only come with time and learning. Learning from the loss, from the pain, from the mistakes. Learning that inside you have happiness, it is just a matter of finding it again. And it may take time--a lot of time. But for right now, all you can do is keep going, keep moving forward, trying not to look back too much in the process. Happiness isn't always easy, sometimes you really have to fight for it. But it's definitely a fight worth fighting.

1 comment:

sognatrice said...

Really beautiful, honest, true post. Brava :)