Each and every one of us who find ourselves in need of recalculating and adjusting to a new way of living, will one day break out of our protective cocoon and just as the butterfly – we will not only be changed, we will also be free
I was wandering through a quaint little store the other day when I chanced upon a beautiful dragonfly wall hanging, that quite literally, stopped me in my tracks. Instantly I thought of my mom and her almost childlike love of the dragonfly. I was transported back to a dust covered memory - of her sitting on the front porch giggling as what appeared to be a drunk dragonfly flew around haphazardly. With so many bad memories I cling to the good ones when they come. I felt my eyes tearing up while I stood there mesmerized by the wall hanging. Sometimes the loss of her feels like a gut punch when I least expect it. There had been so much bad but sometimes - there had been good too.
I chastised myself, as I walked out of the store, about allowing my emotions to get the better of me. It has been almost two years since she died, actually, the anniversary is fast approaching, and I should have found some closure by now. Well, at least that is what people tell me - that I need closure. I need to move on. Ok, fine - to be honest, I tell myself this all the time too. Everyone always needs the ever elusive closure. People are looking for it at the end of failed relationships, after death, after loss, and well, after anything really that comes to an end.
Honestly, I can't stand the word. The definition of closure is: the act or process of closing something. Closing something like a door or a road and not some huge part of one's life that is suddenly empty, hollow and shattered. You find closure when you leave a job and start a new one. You find closure when you pay off bills.
It was running into a road closure that got me thinking about life and finding the elusive closure.
Picture this; you are driving your normal route to work, you go to make the same right hand turn that you have made every day for ten years, and you are greeted by a ginormous sign that reads "Closed." You wail. You get angry. It throws a wrench into your entire morning. Then, you accept it as fact, recalculate your route, and you continue on. Know what? Same basic premises applies in life too.
There are so many circumstances in life when you will never find closure. How could you really? Closure means that you are no longer affected by something. Closure means you have forgotten the pain, the heartache and have healed completely. Maybe some people can. Maybe some people can cauterize a broken heart, can cement in a hole in their life left by someone they loved. Maybe they can - doesn't mean that you have too.
After finding that detour and having to figure out a new way to get to work - it dawned on me. You don't suffer a big loss, an ended relationship or death of a loved one and POOF! One day find that you are over it. You just don't. It doesn't work that way. Regardless of what people tell you need to do or how you just need to find some closure and move on.
Forget finding closure. Instead, focus on recalculating.
Recalculating. When a sudden loss occurs - so does a shift in your reality. Whether you wanted it or not - your world changed the second it happened. Be it the moment your divorce was final, the last breath of a loved one or whatever the life event, when it happened - your reality changed. You must give yourself time to grieve. You must allow the tears to flow, the anger to rise and the full gamut of emotions to run their course. You will feel totally out-of-control and helpless. You will feel lost and insecure. You will want the pain to end, the sadness to depart and you will want to feel the joy of life again. But, because closure is so incomprehensible, you stall out. Stop thinking about closure. You may never be ready to let go of some of the sadness, you may never fill the empty hole someone left behind. You don't have to. Recalculate your life to acclimate to your new reality and go from there. This is now your starting point. Your go forward point. Make the needed adjustments and give yourself permission to move on. By acclimating to your new reality, by embracing your loss and making some form of peace with it, you allow yourself the first steps of moving on.
As I write this I find that I am visualizing a caterpillar.
The caterpillar is who I was before losing my mom. Actually, in the past few years I have lost a lot and my reality has sifted, re-shifted and shifted again every time. I realize that I have pulled myself, like the caterpillar, into a cocoon of sorts. A protective shield. I know now that after a period of time - I, like the caterpillar, will decide when I am ready to break free. However, it won't be because I have embraced closure. It will be because I allowed myself time to acclimate to my new reality. That while I may still feel sadness, I will feel the pull of life even more.
Each and every one of us who find ourselves in need of recalculating and adjusting to a new way of living, will one day break out of our protective cocoon and just as the butterfly – we will not only be changed, we will also be free.
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