Our culture loves the idea of “closure” when it comes to grief. But would we ever really want closure after experiencing a deep loss, like the loss of someone we love?
Grief is Love
Grief is love, pure and simple. The only reason we grieve is because we loved. And love isn’t something we can will away; it’s not something we would want to will away. Closure implies the ending of something, the wrapping up of loose ends in an attempt to “move on.” And while this might make sense in the context of certain types of loss—like the end of a relationship—in the realm of death and bereavement, not so much.
Fighting Against Grief, and Clinging to It
This recognition, that grief is love, can cause a lot of cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, we hate the pain we are in and we hope and pray desperately for it to go away. On the other hand, we want to cling desperately to our grief, as it feels like the only thing we have left to connect us with our person.
Finding the Middle Ground
Finding the middle ground in grief happens when we come to terms with two things.
Firstly, the fact that there is no such thing as “closure” when it comes to grieving the loss of someone we love. We will continue to grieve, to varying degrees, for the rest of our life. The more we can accept this, the less energy we waste on trying to escape our grief.
The less we fight our grief, the less we suffer; resisting grief makes it exponentially more painful. Our grief is an expression of our love, and as such, is sacred and worthy of respect and reverence.
And secondly, we need to accept that it is possible to feel tremendous grief and devastation alongside other emotions. You can still experience laughter, peace, fulfillment, and even joy, while part of you remains in the depths of despair and heartache.
It is common (and, completely understandable) to feel like we are leaving our person behind or like we are somehow betraying them, if we continue living, if we laugh, if we feel genuine enjoyment after they are gone. We might think to ourselves… Does this mean I’m not sad enough?... How could I possibly laugh, or enjoy anything, with them gone?... Will other people think that I don’t miss them if I seem too OK?
If we hold the belief—even unconsciously—that we are somehow betraying our loved one by beginning to heal, or that the only way to remain connected with them is to cling to our pain at the expense of everything else, it will keep us stuck in unhealthy ways that serve no one.
Learning to live with grief is about learning to function alongside it, slowly adjusting to and honoring our new normal, not accomplishing the unrealistic goal of “closure” in order to “move on.” There is no need to close the door on your grief, on your love.
Looking for an Online Therapist in Kansas?
Do you need a safe, supportive place to grieve? Do you want to heal your relationship with your emotions or your body?
My Lawrence, Kansas counseling practice specializes in providing grief and bereavement counseling, along with therapy for highly sensitive adults, therapy for self-esteem, therapy for anxiety, and therapy for codependency.
Through counseling I help people overcome shame and the fear of being their true selves. Breaking the cycles of people-pleasing and self-abandonment is possible, and I'm here to help. I offer online therapy throughout the state of Kansas.
Reach out today to schedule your free 15 minute phone consultation, I'd love to hear from you!
Other Services Offered by Maggie
In addition to providing online therapy anywhere in Kansas, I’m also a professional astrologer, and offer Birth Chart Readings anywhere in the United States, as well as abroad.
Astrology is a powerful tool for gaining self-awareness, finding meaning in and understanding of our difficult experiences, and for receiving validation regarding our own unique life path. All of which supports our mental health in a positive way!
Interested in getting a Natal Chart Reading? Book a free phone consultation and let’s get started!