Of course, I dislike the whole concept of "closure" intensely -- I don't believe there's any such thing. One of my all-time favourite quotes, from Elizabeth McCracken's amazing stillbirth memoir, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: "Closure is bullshit."
Here's an excerpt:
Of the many self-help platitudes invoked during a crisis, none has been more flogged in the past two decades than “closure.” No tragedy can be complete until the narrative has run its course, converting sadness and injustice into a three-act screenplay taught in a night school course: happiness, disaster, closure. It’s the ultimate celebrity-interview reveal: “I finally have closure,” Tamara Mellon, former head of Jimmy Choo, told Interview magazine about her troubled relationship with her mother. Online posters want Rihanna and Chris Brown to get it, and the editors of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are scrambling to find some for Taylor Armstrong after her husband’s suicide.
When news is cast as entertainment, which it is in the 24-hour cable world, stories require endings. The meaning of closure is both mutable and vague – move along, finish up, put away your grief – which makes it highly utilitarian. A romantic breakup, a dead pet, a terrorist attack – closure is the great equalizing imperative, offered as cold comfort. There’s something profoundly attractive about closure: In chaos, it’s the one clear idea. Closure is something to do.
Yet closure isn’t a term used by many bereavement therapists. According to a new book, in fact, closure doesn’t even exist. In Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What it Costs Us, Drake University sociologist Nancy Berns writes, “Closure is not some naturally occurring emotion; it’s a made-up concept that tells us how we should deal with loss.” In other words, it’s a prescription that can’t be filled...
The truth is that grief is ongoing and laborious. Freud said that “mourning is work,” a thing to be wrestled. But it’s a valuable struggle; all kinds of truths arise from contemplation. What benefit is there to rush past injustices of the kind we’ve witnessed these past weeks? Who would be served by closing the door quickly and moving on at UC Davis, at Penn State?
Read more here. (I've put the book mentioned in the article on my "to shop for" list. Would you be surprised to learn that the author had a stillborn baby boy in 2001?)