GriefNet Library

by Penny Stanton Trujillo

My heart goes out to you�you never do get over it. All this stuff you see on television about "finding closure" is nonsense, because there can never be any closure to this nightmare. It's just a trite and rather stupid statement on the part of those witnessing, but not affected by the loss (such as television viewers and commentators) or people who know the survivors and want to say or do something to offer relief but don't know what to do, so they talk about "closure" because that's the only way they can come to terms with such a cataclysmic loss.

The fact is, most people can't stand to see other people experiencing intense, prolonged, wrenching grief. They don't know how to cope with it, and, in fact, they are afraid of it, because if it can happen to you, then it can happen to them. And that's irritating, if not enraging, if you're suffering like this because in the midst of such grief, you soon feel the unspoken pressure to make it comfortable for everyone in your orbit (school, work, friends, etc.), and "get over" your grief (i.e., "find closure.")

I know I've wanted scream, scream, scream over the years to everyone that I have to interact with that due to this shock and unbearable loss, I cannot function like you do -- that I live in a different world that you cannot possibly understand --so that if you want "appropriate laughter" and "appropriate tears" at "appropriate times" -- and if you want someone who always balances her checkbook correctly and makes all her trains on time -- then you've got the wrong girl. Sometimes I have to struggle through every day just to do the routine things, because little things will trigger memories, and elements of rage and regret, and I'm just not tuning in.

Most of the world doesn't understand this, however; and does not tolerate it. It's one of the many scars we survivors have to bear.

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