Closure is not a word that gets used often in grief. This week I go to give the final “OK” on Kevin’s tombstone-the marker noting his final resting place. Yes, it has taken me over 1.5 years to take care of this, but honestly, before that, I just could not think about that. Having him in that ground is one thing, having him marked with a death date stamp is another.
This week is also Team Sarcoma-raising money on behalf of the disease that killed him. This is something I had discussed doing with Kevin when he was initially diagnosed, and here I am, planned with my first event, and already it is a success. I cannot wait to see the treasures that Saturday will bring, but I also know it will be a great time of deep emotion as I meet other sarcoma survivors, those who were left behind, and hang out with all those who have greatly supported me in this journey.
While not all his medical items are closed out yet, or are a few things “finalized”, for the most part, the Kevin chapter of my life is closed on a logistical basis. I have moved forward and done most of the things that one does after a death. The emotional part of closure, however, will never come. The understanding will never be fulfilled. This will always be an open wound, sometimes scabbed, blistered, nearly healed, other times oozing, infected, aggravating.
In grief, you never fully “heal” or find absolute “closure”. Your life continues forward, you learn to integrate grief with your daily life, you find happiness in between the moments of pain and reflection, and you move forward in the best way you possibly can, always feeling tugs from the past. Sometimes those tugs guiltily pull at your everyday life, where you feel like you’re cheating, like you have done your past wrong, wondering if the past taught you anything about your future.
In just 10 days I will traveling north to Canada, my first visit to Kevin’s home city since his Memorial in November 2008. The chance to meet with some of his friends whom I no longer have contact with, the chance to hopefully seek closure in those relationships-to find some resolve in being left as his widow. It’s not that I haven’t felt support-my friends and family have been amazing, Kevin family has been amazing, some of his friends have been superb; but some just could not handle it, and that I do understand. It hurts, and it’s hard, but I understand when the pain is too great to address. But in that, it left me feeling alone, abandoned by the people who knew him best. I hope this trip will give me some closure on those feelings, whether they are valid or not.
With my friends and family I can reminisce about Kevin on the past few years that I knew him, but with his dearest friends, ones who had known him most of their lives, there were no memories to share. The phone calls were not there to remember “when” or to hear about how awesome of a guy he was. Do they still reminisce amongst each other, or do they move forward in denial that he’s really gone? I wish I had the opportunity to hear those memories, to share mine with them, to embrace each other in the memory of a great man.
This entire month is one big closure feast. Anniversaries of tragedies past, moving forward and the things that acknowledge that fact, and closure on relationships that fell away. So much to process, yet no time to do so. I imagine on the 26+ hour drive to Winnipeg, there will be much time for reflection before the many tears I am sure to shed while I am there.
I’m glad he’s “home”, I’m glad he’s not in pain anymore. I do not regret my past, nor will I try to with my future. I am doing what I think and hope is best to move forward from something that was and continues to be the most difficult event of my life. I would love to be released from it all, but as I said before, one never gets full closure with grief.