Emotional Closure : 3 Steps to start healing the past

It could be a family member you do not see anymore for various reasons, or it could also be someone you loved who passed away.

Finding closure then becomes almost impossible. In my opinion, getting closure is not set in stone and limited in time, and it is something extremely personal.

Unfortunately, sometimes, people around you, coming from a lack of understanding, find that you need to get closure now or that enough is enough and that now is the time where you must get closure because it becomes socially unacceptable if you do not.

If you are still grieving, you may come across some people who will not get the fact that, closure does not really take place, at least not literally. Just like grieving, it is something that will always be there and stay with us. When you lose someone, having closure is trying to heal, ease the pain and be more at peace with the loss.

So, let us talk about closure now.

What is closure anyway? I do not mean that in a sarcastic way, I am genuinely wondering what closure really is and what it means in this particular context.

When it comes to a family member, a close friend, a relative, a partner, seeing him or her unexpectedly leaving your life and being left alone with not even an ounce of explanation or a reason why, sounds to me like an absence of closure. Not having had the proper time to say goodbye or even more so, just simply understand the situation and its reality and consequences, can leave us broken and feeling abandoned.

Most of the time, those abandonment patterns occur in childhood, and they can also take place in adulthood later.

Regardless of what age you are or at what time this situation took place, it is pivotal to acknowledge and accept your feelings and to then figure out all the tools you can have and use to feel better.

Accepting whatever negative feeling you may experience, whether it is injustice, pain, loss, abandonment, or rejection, is number one.

Why am I pointing this out? because I personally believe that it is impossible to heal what you will not confront, and thus, what you will not let yourself feel.

Unless you let yourself truly feel and experience the emotional charge of the “no-closure” situation, you will not genuinely start healing.

You need to feel what you feel.

I know, from a personal standpoint, that when you lose someone because of life circumstances, not because of that person passing away, it still remains extremely painful and it seems like the pain won’t go away either, because although this person is still alive, you won’t see him or her again. It is like an emotional uprooting.

And so, not only closure deals with loss and pain, it also has everything to do with how to deal with absence.

What can we do to start finding closure and thus start healing the past, and thus starting to be in a more peaceful and resilient space emotionally speaking?

Let me share with you what has worked for me.

Not everything I say here will automatically work out for everyone, we are all different and we all have different ways of relating to things and coping in general, but here are my pieces of advice that made me feel better.

First, take whatever time you need to grieve the loss of your loved one, the loss of a situation, or whatever it may be. Taking your time is necessary to process your emotions and everything that comes with the present situation.

Then, you can try to follow one or all the steps down below.

  1. Remembering and saying goodbye to the past at the same time.

What do I mean by that?

Try to do a ceremony, a sacred moment, preferably in the comfort of your home, where you feel the most secure and safe, and where you can open up emotionally, alone or with loved ones. You can light up a candle, write a letter or a prayer and say it out loud while thinking of the person. As you read out loud the prayer or letter, imagine your words and emotions are like balloons going up in the sky, and higher and higher they go until they disappear in the sky. This is a way of letting go of the past peacefully. This is your metaphorical yet powerful doorway to closure.

  1. Write a letter & trust your destiny.

Such exercise can be quite liberating, therapeutic, and freeing. You can write a letter to that person you have in mind or you can just record yourself as well, it is up to you, whatever feels right for you. It will help you clear out the pain, hurt, resentment and what not, letting them go from your mind. It will alleviate your pain. For instance, you can start your letter by addressing your person with loving words, do not restrict yourself, imagine that your person is right in front of you, and pour it out.

Maybe it will not help you, but to know that everything is predestined, at least, from my personal experience, help me attaining some sort of closure in my life when it came to my loved ones, that had metaphorically or literally disappeared from my life.

I feel like it brings comfort to know that whatever happened or did not happen between you and this individual, you could not have avoided whatever took place because is happening according to the plan, according to your destiny.

Even if there’s no way to have closure with someone, know that sometimes ( for someone who lost contact with someone or someone who left you out of the blue),  it won’t probably do you good, it will maybe cause you more harm than good, there are times when getting no closure, in this case, no explanation, is actually better in a way, sometimes, it turns out to be exactly the right thing to do for the both of you.

Sometimes, keeping a relationship with this person could have been worse and more toxic for the both of you.

We get so caught up in fantasizing the could haves and what ifs that we end up suffering even more.

But I know, I agree that letting go is so hard still…

  1. Be in solitude.

Yes, it may sound off subject and irrelevant, but it worked for me, so I would like to share it with you guys so it could help you as well.

When I walk alone in nature, I try my best (and it is not that easy), to clean my mind and to clear my inner self talk, to quite my mind and to just walk without purpose, just walking and listening to my footsteps on the ground, the sound of rain, if any, just me and nature, silence, and solitude.

Even once a week or once a month, for a few minutes, it cleanses your system, your soul, your aura.

At first, if you are not used to being in solitude and by yourself, it may feel strange and you may feel uncomfortable, but the more you do it, the more peace you will feel.

It will help you be more in flow and at ease with your emotions, your past, your relationships, and it may help you see the situation with much more elevation and perspective.

Remember that whatever works for you, will work for you- trust yourself in choosing the steps that make you feel the most comfortable to heal and feel more at peace.

Getting closure is personal, and it may happen or may not happen, there are no rules for it, the most important thing is to try to find ways to feel (even a tiny bit) better. And that is the purpose of my article.

You chart your own path.

Trust yourself.

Aundrea Milk

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