When I was 12 years old, the person I considered to be my best friend, passed away. At that time I was struggling with feeling loved or wanted by my family and my 12-year-old mind was convinced that she was the only person who loved me. Not out of familiar obligation or pity. A pure love and adoration. She was my grandma. And I broke when she died.
Something that has stuck with me since was that I never got to say goodbye. My family wouldn’t let me see her in hospice. They didn’t give me a chance to say goodbye to the person that had meant so much to me. And they knew this. They knew how much she meant to me. How much I meant to her. I know they had their reasons. And maybe I find it just a little to easy to hold grudges. So I didn’t get to say goodbye before she passed. I still could have had my closure at her funeral. Or even after that. But I couldn’t it. I let it sit inside me and fester.
It took me 12 years. 12 fucking years for me to grow up and grieve. For me to say goodbye.
She passed away on August 1st, 2007. And I didn’t say goodbye till August 4th, 2019. So 12 years and three days. Maybe part of me didn’t want to accept that I would never see her again. That we would never have another tea party together, watch Candian tv shows together, spend time together. And maybe a part of me was scared. Scared to admit how much I miss her still to this day. Miss that she didn’t get to see me grow up. Didn’t get to see me graduate high school, college, and hopefully, grad school. Maybe I was jealous that all my other cousins got her for longer than I did…
Maybe I got really pissed when someone tried to use her memory against me to get me to bend to their whim. No not pissed. Angry. Very angry. They had never even met her, yet knew what she meant to me and tried to use her against me.
When I finally got up the nerve to go and say goodbye at her headstone, it wasn’t really a surprise at how quickly I started crying and stumbling out apologies for not coming sooner. For chickening out time and time again. For only making it out there 12 years later.
If I was to only take one thing from my experience, it’s that saying goodbye, finding closure is so fucking important. It is important to say goodbye, to close the book on the situation or whatever it is. If it has ended make sure that it ends. Don’t let it drag on longer then necessary.
All it brings are feelings of guilt and shame and negativity. No one needs that. No one needs to feel like that. So take the time to say goodbye. If you are breaking up with someone say goodbye to the relationship. Thank it for all that it taught you and close the book on it. If you wanna still be friends with them, that’s fine. That a whole different book. A totally different relationship. And I do think in some cases people can be friends after breaking up, other cases no, not at all.
Nothing changes until people decide to do the things they must, in order to bring about peace.Shannon L. Alder
Finding closure is like finding peace. I know there are a lot of people who might argue that there really is no such thing as closure. That it is just an idea or a social construct, but I disagree. I do believe in closure, that it is a necessary step in grieving, recovery, and just living. Otherwise you are stuck on whatever it was that you’ve been trying to move on from.
Maybe it will be different for everyone. That’s fine. No two people are the same. We all experience things differently. So we are all going to look at the outcomes differently.
For me I need closure. I need goodbyes and endings. Even if they are not happy endings. I need the finality of it. Otherwise I’ll get stuck in an endless cycle of what-ifs. But if it’s different for you, that’s fine! We are all different. I’m gonna just keep repeating that.
So get your goodbye, finish the chapter or the book or whatever analogy you want to use. Let it lie and move on.
Thank you for reading! If you’re wondering why I chose cloud photos it because 1) I love clouds and they make me happy and 2) when I think of new beginnings I think of clouds, they are clean and fresh and I don’t know it’s weird I know.