A widow friend of mine recently mentioned a new book about grief (which I haven't yet read) called Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What it Costs Us by Nancy Berns. The author was speaking on NPR recently and her final words were: You Don't Need Closure to Heal.
How I love these words! You Don't Need Closure to Heal. These words explain so much to me. They explain why I sometimes doubt my contentment when I can still shake my head in disbelief that Ken actually died. They explain why I can still become sad in the fall, the time when Ken began his decline to death, when hope and dread and stress swirled around me and all of our family.
You Don't Need Closure to Heal. These words help free me from guilty feelings of leaving Ken behind to live my own time-limited life. They help me understand why today I am a stronger, better person with a surer sense of right living -- even though I owe so much to the man who isn't here to reap the benefits of my improved self.
These six words give me permission to feel happy, to grow, to enjoy life and to honor and respect what I've lost with a gentle bow of reverence.
I hope the rest of the book matches the wisdom of those six words. To hear the author, Nancy Berns, a sociology professor at Drake University, talk about the concept of closure, copy and paste this link to your browser: http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2011/10/17/closure-the-rush-to-end-grief-and-what-it-costs-us/
Take a few minutes to respond in writing to those six words: You Don't Need Closure To Heal. What do they mean to you, right now? And by the way, do you have a journal for writing down your thoughts about grief? If not, try it. It's just one tool for finding your way back to life.
- Jill Schacter
- My wonderful husband died when I was 44 years old. Being widowed this young happens to less than 3% of married people. Writing through this loss one word at time helps me understand what I've lost and helps me continue to grow. It is how I have gradually recovered from such a severe loss. Research shows that you can benefit from taking just 15 minutes a day to write out your deepest feelings as a way of healing. On the right side of this blog, you'll see a tag for Exercises to Try. If you need some help knowing how to use writing to help heal yourself, I suggest you start there.