Got Closure? How to Move Forward

Got Closure? How to Move Forward

Each of us experiences some kind of
loss in this lifetime.  People come
and go from our lives, whether by choice or circumstance.  How we cope with these events affects
how we move forward, how we see the world, and how we feel about our


I’m not the only person to have
been through a divorce.  When my
first marriage ended after 17 years, I thought I handled it well.  It was an amicable parting, and we
maintained a friendly relationship. 
But then a few years later my sister’s husband died unexpectedly.  My grief brought up new emotions, and I
felt sad and angry and hurt as I relived the divorce in my mind.  I realized through this experience that
although I had moved on, I hadn’t really gotten over it; I didn’t have
closure.  I saw the parallels
between my sister’s loss and my own, and I actively sought to come up with a
formula through which we could both alleviate our pain.


Relationships take many forms:
marriage, friendships, family, co-workers, classmates, lovers.  Whenever two people have some kind of a
connection, a relationship is established.  Our energy goes into these connections, our emotions, our
hopes, our human vulnerabilities. 
A relationship is an organism itself, and it can have a life cycle.  But since relationship is a spiritual
organism, it doesn’t die.  It
merely changes shape.  The
relationships we build with the people we encounter continue in spirit, in
memories, and in lessons learned.


We are invested in our
relationships with other people. 
We spend our time, and emotions, developing a kind of bond with a
person.  We give of ourselves,
through our love, our friendship, our concern, and our efforts.


When we are faced with what seems
to be the “end” of a relationship, we may feel loss, grief, anger or pain.  We might even feel relief, or
freedom.  We may question the
purpose for this change, whether it is abrupt or expected, and the necessity of
it.  The change may or may not be
our choice, or our desire, but something we must learn to live with.  The uneasiness may nag at us for years
as we struggle to understand.  How
do we get that “closure” that our hearts and minds so desperately seek so that
we can move forward with our lives?


We need to shift our perspective a
little bit when it comes to relationships.  In our human form, we see the illusion of death, and the
ending of relationships.  But what
really takes place is a transformation. 
As we learn and grow through our relationships, our relationships
evolve.  We can use this evolution
as an opportunity for continued growth, and for personal transformation.  The pains that we feel are growing
pains.  However a relationship
changes, whether it is a loss from physical death, a divorce, a move away, a
growing up, or a falling out, we can not only survive, but thrive, knowing that
everything, always, is exactly the way it is meant to be.


A Natural Law works whether we are
aware of it or not.  It is a
principle of nature that is in effect at all times, without favoritism.  Gravity is a natural law.  It works the same for everyone, at all
times.  By being aware of gravity,
we can move about more freely, with less risk of pain from falling down.


The Law of Relationship is
two-fold.  It says:

1) We are all connected.

2) We are here to help each other.


We are all connected in one way or
another.  We feel the same
emotions; we share the same experiences. 
We are brothers and sisters on this planet.  This connection bonds us, and gives us a relationship with
each other.  A mother in any part
the world, can relate to another mother she has never seen because she knows
what it means, and how it feels, to be a mother.  We are all born the same way, and have to learn how to walk
and talk and find our way in the world. 
We face challenges and heartache, no matter where we live, or how we
live.  Our connection cannot be


With our challenges and experiences
we learn and grow.  Our
relationships bring us many challenges and experiences, and through our
relationships we learn and grow.  This
is how we help each other.  We may
not even know that we are doing it, but just by being in a person’s life, in
some small way, we are contributing to the learning process, as they are
contributing to ours.  Our actions
affect other people in ways we can’t even imagine.  Even in times when we feel hurt by someone, that is an
opportunity for us to learn and grow. 
We might not realize it in the moment, but in some strange and
miraculous way, we are helping each other by going through this experience


Closure is different than
grief.  Grieving is looking back;
closure is about looking ahead.  We
want to let go and move on.  This
is what closure gives us.  We may
have gone through the grieving process and still not have the closure we
seek.  The law of relationship
helps us to maneuver our way through the five set process of closure:
Recognition, Acceptance, Understanding, Integration, and Gratitude.  When we reach a feeling of gratitude,
we know we’ve come full circle to experience closure. 


Closure is actually the perfect
word for it.  It’s more than neatly
tying up loose ends.  Think about
life as a series of events and relationships, all linked together in some sort
of artistic way, like a beautiful piece of jewelry.  We can’t wear a necklace or a bracelet if the chain is just
left dangling.  The jewelry maker
finishes off the piece by adding a clasp, one loop that kind of ties together
the beginning and the end, the start and the finish, so that what we are left
with is one strong continuous chain. 
Our closure is that clasp. 
Closure helps it all make sense. 
It turns something seemingly broken into something useful, purposeful,
and lovely.


Coffey is the author of CLOSURE and the
Law of Relationship: Endings as New Beginnings.