Monday, May 2, 2011

The Myth of Closure

“Closure: the sense of finality and coming to terms with an experience, felt or experienced over time.” – Encarta Dictionary

“Closure” is a word frequently invoked in grief-related literature. Events are said to bring “closure” to people who grieve: discovery of remains, burial, 1st anniversaries, etc.
But the news of the death of Osama bin Laden may only be initially considered closure.
Certainly, the death of the most wanted terrorist in the world is a cause for celebration, even not knowing how other terrorist organizations will respond.
But for those who lost family or friends on 9/11, there is no closure.
Osama bin Laden is dead, but so are their loved ones.
Don’t assume everyone is happy and “all right” now.
Don’t assume the grieving is over. In fact, this news will likely re-open painful memories for all of us who knew someone who died that clear, blue September morning. My first reaction on hearing the news last night was, “but Carol’s still dead.”
So, as we discuss this remarkable news today, remember all those who lost a friend or family member on 9/11. Today will most likely be a difficult day for them.


brenda said...

There is mystic to closure, you are correct. We shall see what comes next as well as how we cope.

virtualDavis said...

Viki, thanks for the timely and thoughtful post. I suspect that many of us a working though conflicting emotions as we process Bin Laden's execution. Plenty of vocal folks talking about closure. And about justice. Plenty too thinking about loss, so many sorts of loss, and the pain and confusion and regret and resentment and anger that accompany the loss of a loved one. A loss not compensated by justice or by perpetuating loss even when it IS the right action. And wondering if only time and grieving will anesthetize the pain, will make sense of the loss, will excuse the guilt or the blame or the second-guessing. Keep us thinking, Viki! :-)