Closure Doesn’t Exist In Grief

Grief requires closure to move forward. What if closure doesn’t exist? What a novel concept? One I hadn’t even considered until I watched Nancy Berns’ TED Talk titled, “Beyond Closure”.

I have said it before and I will say it again. IĀ love TED Talks. Inspiration delivered in 20 minutes or less that changes your entire perception on life. Why should the topic of grief be any different?

When a loved one dies, society tells you that time will heal. That once you find closure in the traumatic events that disrupted your life you will be able to find peace and move forward. So everyone searches for closure. The ever elusive thing that will turn my life right side up again. Set me on a positive path to joy.

Nancy suggests the idea that closure is a made up concept that distorts the grieving process. She even goes so far as to say closure doesn’t exist. You can find healing without it! She then proceeds to demonstrate her truth with a demonstration that describes grieving better than I could ever begin to.

She completely shifted my entire perception of the grieving process. How was this possible after living it for the last year?

She so accurately described theĀ feeling that you need to put all of your feelings and emotions in a box and put it on a shelf. The idea that negative emotions must be left behind and being positive is necessary in society in order to make everyone else around you comfortable. She acknowledged the world’s viewpoint that grief comes to an end.

Then she explained how it was all wrong. Why grievers need to talk about their grief. The paradigm shift came when she showed us that it is possible to carry both joy and grief at the same time. This is in fact what is necessary in order to find healing as the grief never ends.

Joy helps us catch our breath!

It is completely worth the 17:24 minutes!

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3 Comments on “Closure Doesn’t Exist In Grief”

  1. Hi Mrs. Graham! I’m Dr. Sheikh, one of the pediatricians who cared for Cameron at Arnold Palmer Hospital. You may not remember me, but I completely understand! I recall your family like it was yesterday. I was there for everything, mostly working in the background to not disturb your family during such a difficult time. To this day I wondered how did this happen to Cameron. Upon sifting through your blog I saw that a diagnosis finally emerged. I only had my own perspective, which was trying to find answers for your family. Thank you for blogging so I could (attempt) to see how your family has been affected through your own eyes. I recall you have 2 little girls, I’m sure they are growing so quickly! I hope your family has been well. Cameron affected me greatly, it was a privilege to care for him.

    1. My heart skipped a beat as I read your comment. When those “on the inside” of our night reach out I am instantly back there. To know that we weren’t just a number, especially since your team didn’t meet us until things were beyond repair, means so much. Cameron received tremendous care from the APH team. I am so thankful. You have no idea how much I appreciate hearing you say how much Cameron affected you and that it was a privilege. XO

  2. I lost my son a year ago after his battle with luekemia. He underwent a stem cell transplant and was exposed to the seasonal flu by a nurse who came to work sick. He died a treacherous death and was on numerous(like 11) anti seizure drugs when my instincts set in to put him into hospice care which lasted 12 hours. I had to let him go. My daughter and sister were there also. He was my daughter’s best friend and the maternal love I felt for him was so pure. I honestly don’t know how I will carry on. I sold our house of 25plus yrs and my numerous siblings are tired if my grief. He was a wonderful young man who never judged anyone and had a compassionate soul. He was smart and witty and kind. I don’t know why Im having such a hard time. Thanks for letting me share.

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