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Is ‘Closure’ another over-used word?



“I feel he has not yet had a closure for his dad’s death”

“She has not had a closure for her pain from the divorce”

“He is yet to get a closure for family legal dispute although the court’s verdict happened long time ago”


Is closure an overused word? Can all human suffering have closure? Are people’s emotions finite and time bound?

What does it look like if we have achieved closure? That we have forgotten the incidents? That the incidents don’t hurt us when we are reminded of them?

Human tragedy and emotions associated with them are not like medical and legal cases where we have solved a problem and closed the file on the incident. The hospital has discharged the patient, the courts have given verdicts, the police have solved a case and in all these instances we can use the word closure.


Whereas with the human sufferings (sadness, anger, guilt carried over from past incidents), there is often nothing like closure. In some instances, the pain may reduce, the emotional intensity may abate, the hold of past on the present may loosen, but there may be nothing like “closure” to it.

We may still feel angry, sad, guilty about the past but it does not make us dysfunctional anymore. We cannot erase memories consciously. So instead of searching for closure, it may be better to be at peace if we reach a level where the past does not prevent us from living fully in the present.

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