Maybe I’m a sucker for closure. Maybe everyone is. But on those days when I’m feeling particularly peeved by lack of closure in past relationships (no I’m not talking about romantic relationships alone), I wonder if it isn’t true. Maybe it’s just me, and a few more. But probably not everyone gets so hung up about closure. If they did, we would see so much being written about it. Then again, maybe, I’m reading all wrong sources.
Whatever the case, the fact remains that I’m a sucker for closure. It hurts me, the ‘not knowing’ why some relationships went the way they did. I’ve had, in past, probably been responsible for being on the other end of this — causing similar reactions in others to whom closure matters as much, or more. But I hope rarely. And never intentionally. I wouldn’t wish it on my friends, ex-friends, friends turned foes, even.
Especially the last, as I don’t believe in that category’s existence. For me, friends stay friends. They may even, at worst, stop being friends. Drifting apart is part of growing independently, at times. And sometimes the gulf is so much that it’s hard to connect over it, meaningfully. But being a foe is something very different. I don’t believe my friends are capable of going through such a transformation. They may consider me as a foe, but I will not. At least, haven’t in the 20 odd conscientious years of my life, since I really started thinking about relationships, not just being in them. Or sleepwalking through them.
A drifting apart, over the years, is easy to handle. Probably because it’s a very natural progression for relationships. Very few relationships, not involving blood relations — which have an element of non-choice (although not absolute, and not in the coercive sense) — really stand the test of time. There is so much changing around us, that it’s only logical that we change.
I’ve heard that lament often. He’s changed. She’s changed. If we value somebody, would we really want them not to change? However good/perfect they are — for let’s face it, when we say someone’s good or perfect, or whatever, what we’re essentially saying is that they’re good for us — not necessarily in the materialistic sense, just in the sense of the overall sense of well-being they contribute to. But it’s an arbitrary criteria. It’s a shackle. It restricts person’s natural growth.
Then again, growth is unpredictable. Growth could destroy status quo. To expect that someone grows within the bounds of our expectations is to turn the person into a bonsai. I don’t want to wish that on my friends, especially.
How is it all related to closure? It isn’t, probably, now you ask it that way. The thing is, when we miss closure, it typically signifies that the other person doesn’t really care for the formalities of farewell. That s/he has moved so far away, that the gap is not bridgeable — and to bridge it just to say goodbye is meaningless sentimentality.
But there is another type of unfinished goodbyes. Sometimes there is an element of serendipity, although the word is rarely used in this sense, rather the opposite. Sometimes, the distance isn’t so bad that the other person is not ready to travel a few steps back to leave you in a home territory. The only thing that stops them from it is the the fear of getting pulled back in. In case of such fear, it’s logical to walk away swiftly. People do, secretly hoping that they would finish the formalities of farewell later, when the fear is dead and buried across the distance they’re travelling. But then a wave sweeps them away to another shore from where they can’t wave goodbyes. And the guilt mounts, to the extent where, if they happen to come back to these shores, they cannot muster the courage to cross that bridge — not afraid now of being stuck, but afraid of walking the distance just to find a wreck there.
I guess I’ve done it too. That is why I understand it. But that understanding doesn’t give me any respite from the meaningless sentimentality. If you valued the relationship so much at one time, says the voice in my head, how could you not complete the formalities of farewell? Doesn’t the relationship deserve a proper burial, and a mourning?
Maybe I’m a sucker for closure because I believe that. But that’s a circular argument. Burial/mourning is just another name for closure.