The Quest for Closure. When Should Grieving End?

My friend and fellow shamanic practitioner Julie Groth wrote this insightful piece about grief. For people who have not experienced significant losses, it can sometimes be hard to understand why a person doesn’t just “get over it” at some point and move on. For those who have been forever changed by grief, it can feel like your suffering is not only a burden that you continuously carry, but one that can isolate you from others as you navigate healthy ways to share the depth and breadth of your pain.

The Quest For Closure by Julie Groth

“I often hear people speak about finding closure after a major life trauma or loss. When a loved one dies or a relationship ends, we say we are seeking closure. We long for relief from the voices in our heads telling us that we should have done more or loved better. We may hope for absolution for our own bad behavior, or crave vindication for the lousy way we’ve been treated. We tell ourselves that when we find closure we will finally be done grieving and able to move on.

The popular wisdom says that grief typically happens in five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. This is a rather neat and orderly description of a process that is innately messy and disorderly. The stages tend to overlap, get stuck on replay and sometimes even spill over into other conditions like depression, addiction or obsession.

But is closure really the prize that’s waiting for us at the end of the grieving process? After we’ve struggled through all those stages, and cried all those tears, is it reasonable to expect to feel some sense of closure? Or is closure an illusion that will forever elude our grasp?

I’ve come to the conclusion that the purpose of grieving is not closure at all. Rather, what our grief requires of us is our loving attention. It asks us to acknowledge and tend to our sacred wound with patience and compassion for ourselves. It does not want our despair. Nor does it want to be hidden away behind a façade of acceptance. It does not ask us to give up on our hopes for happiness, nor does it want us to pretend that the pain has gone away.” READ MORE

You can see more information about Julie at: or her shamanism website

Wishing you a peaceful heart,


WV mountain rocks

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