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So, can we really get closure?
Depends. Most often, not really. Breakups, miscarriage, death, and trauma in particular, not so much. I find that this search for closure can actually make people feel worse. Think about it. Closure is the idea that something is complete and you have a satisfying ending. That works if one of your favorite TV shows has a fantastic series finale that makes you feel good about the characters and where they end up (and you’ll always have reruns…), but the death of a loved one? Not so sure you can get a “satisfying ending” to that…
Instead, perhaps searching for adjustment is healthier. Saying you need closure can be setting yourself up for failure. Every time you’re triggered or reminded of whatever happened to you, you’re likely saying to yourself “I should be over this by now” or “I’ll feel better when I get closure” or “I’ll get closure by ____(insert unrealistic and/or unhealthy choices here)”. In setting these high expectations, we are unlikely to meet them, resulting in a sense of failure or loss all over agin. Over and over and over. Closure isn’t always possible.
The words you use in your own mind and out loud make a difference. Words have more power than we give them credit for. If you’re saying to yourself you need closure, you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. Now saying “I need to adjust” or “I need to cope better” or even so far as to say “I need to move on” leave the door wide open for possibilities.
Finding a new normal is achievable! Part of that might mean finding forgiveness in your heart, shifting your routines, or even making amends, but not closure… no sense of finality.
Think of your life as a book. Hopefully a thick, interesting, and dynamic one. A chapter may conclude, but it is absolutely essential to what happens to the main character (you) in the chapters to follow. The book doesn’t close until your time on this earth is over, and even then, you’re still a chapter in someone else’s book. So instead of searching for something that is nearly impossible, shift focus to developing a really interesting new chapter that we all can’t wait to see unfold.