Last night — to get some closure for 2021 while moving on to 2022 — I asked this question on Twitter:
This was a rather controversial question — some people objected to the concept of closure as a possibility or even as a helpful concept. As long as we have pain and memory, how can we truly get closure?
Recognizing that there is no perfect or complete closure, I had actually rewritten that question many times before posting it. Here are some other versions of the question that I considered:
What helps you get good-enough closure to move on to the next thing?
What helps you move on to the next thing?
What helps you move on?
That last one was simpler (and brevity can be the soul of wit), but those other versions didn’t really capture what I was trying to express for the end of one year and the beginning of another. I also considered using the term “radical acceptance” instead of “closure.”
I settled on the question I posted because I, personally, do feel some need for closure before moving on to the next thing. For example, I feel the need today to acknowledge the end of my 9th year of this daily blog, thus moving on to my 10th (way beyond my expectations when I started this on 1/1/13).
In my therapy groups, I give people the room to get a good enough sense of closure before we end the session. Since 2020, I’ve been pointing out in these groups that the lack of closure about the pandemic is incredibly stressful, so that getting some measure of closure about anything can be helpful and healing.
Closure, in my mind, is neither tidy nor final. For those of us dealing with trauma or grief, we will never lose the memories or be totally free of the pain of the losses.
I think of closure as putting the period on the end of a sentence before moving on to the next one. Doing that neither wipes out nor reduces the importance and power of the previous sentences. And I do believe that we can benefit from those “periods” — otherwise life can feel like a run-on sentence with little room to breath, pause, and get some measure of peace.
Do you see any closure and/or moving on in my other images for today?
I need to get some measure of closure about the death of Betty White yesterday, so here’s a tribute to her:
Expressing gratitude at the end of every blog post allows me to get the closure I need to move on, so thanks to Betty White and to all who are here, now, including YOU.
Some things hurt forever. People get impatient if you haven’t gotten closure on their timetable. You can move ahead and incorporate the pain into your existence, it may lessen but grief especially can resurface unexpectedly.