“Moving on is not closure. It’s not neat, and it’s not about turning the page. It is about moving on, but it doesn’t mean that you’ve left something behind.” – Thomas Gibson
Another major loss, Queen Elizabeth, has expanded the the pall of death across the world. A nation mourns, a world reacts (slowly) with many doubts for the future. The coronation of Queen Elizabeth was the same year I contracted polio so that will always be etched in my mind. I also mourn her.
Her passing has come on the heels of my mothers passing. That was two weeks ago, which right now feels like a life time while, at the same time, doesn’t really feel like it has happened. I know it has because my brother has already returned with mom’s ashes to Alberta. And while he holds her ashes awaiting the urn my mother had ordered some time ago, we have brandished the idea of a “Celebration of Life” gathering for her, probably next June. Mom’s ashes will join my fathers in the Olds, Alberta veterans cemetery. Mom’s name has been on the headstone since dad’s passing in 1998. Now all that needs to be done is have the date of death inscribed and the internment.
It appears there is enough interest in the name of “closure” to hold a small gathering for the occasion. June seemed like a good month since that was mom’s birthday. The “closure” concept was something I felt I had already done a number of years ago. As my post-polio wore my body down I had that long talk with mom in what I knew would be the last time we would actually ever see each other, in person, again, except for the occasional FaceTime call. The death of Queen Elizabeth would have been one of those call times. The fact I. couldn’t make it made me realize I still have some “closure” issues to deal with.
I think the concept of closure looks very different for various generations. Growing up in the Junior Red Cross Hospital, closure, when one of your roommates passed, was simply making the nursing desk aware that “so and so” didn’t look well. Then we went to the solarium to play. Again we were just kids and closure meant a new roommate was on the way. We had no crisis or grief counsellors in those days so closure wasn’t even a concept we could grasp. What does a ten year old know?
Now I watch the occasional television series finales to get “closure” with that show. I watched the “series” finale of Roswell, New Mexico this past week. I watch a cross section of shows just to establish an understanding of various viewing groups. Roswell only had 4 seasons, based on Neilson’s rating had a viewing demographic of 15 to 21 year olds and a small Twitter account following (about 70,000). I pay attention to these things because it does provide me some insights into what future generations may provide. After watching the series finale, well if that is the new “closure” then good luck to us all. Roswell’s closure provided all types of futures for every character and that isn’t closure.
Closure for Queen Elizabeth will be all pomp and grandeur. Closure for my mother will be a subdued affair for those attending to share old memories while reliving particular stories from the past. The Queen nor my mom are TV series, there is no coming back, just memories.
Our life has many ups and downs,
We question why we’re here,
But deep inside we know ourselves,
Loss of friends is what we fear.
Is it our expectations?
Or the way that others act,
That makes us really doubt ourselves,
Over how our friends react.
We put our faith in people,
And trust in all our friends,
So when our world does crumble,
We justify the ends.
But friendships can be fragile,
And often not so true,
True friends are more accepting,
Of all the things we do.
We do not need a preacher,
Or friends that leave us high,
The truest friends are those,
That stay when the others fly.
So recognize what’s in you,
You are the only one,
You truly can depend on,
When all is said and done.
Terry Wiens – 2011