The Myth of Closure

Out of the numerous harmful myths about grief, the myth of closure has to be one of the most common. If we are grieving, how many times were we told at the funeral that now we have closure and can get on with life? As if a funeral magically stops the hurt. The idea that closure exists – out there somewhere – puts us on an endless search. We don’t know what it looks like or what it will feel like, we just know we must have it. And if we don’t find it quick enough there is something wrong with us! We believe, as everyone tells us, that once we have it, our grief ends.

And, if you are supporting a grieving friend, avoid this word. Closure does not exist! Banish it from your vocabulary.The truth is that grief never ends.

It’s something we carry with us for the rest of our days. There are some days that its weight may be so heavy we cannot get out of bed. There are other days we have placed it in a little box high up on the top shelf of our lives – out of survival because we must face the day. And there are the moments that it walks alongside of us and a thought or a memory triggers it to speak up and remind us it’s there. This is grief. And it never goes away.

Helping a friend on his or her grief journey, standing by her side and saying nothing while she is grieving is not only a blessing for her  but for you too. Being willing to stand in that space with someone you care about is one of the kindest acts you can be blessed to do. And don’t say that she will find “closure” or that “time will heal everything.” She won’t and it doesn’t.