My friend Dr. Internet tells me that closure is "necessary," and "important," and "essential to moving on after a relationship ends." You know closure - it's that amazing thing that happens after you have that conversation like they have in the movies, and you both realize that you're better off, and that you've made the right decision. The movies say that this happens just prior to a big plot shift, like finding happiness in your life or maybe fighting a bunch of ninjas.
Unlike Dr. Internet, Dr. Jeff thinks that, for the most part, closure is a LIE.
I've written about grief before, and about the things people do to try and cheer you up. For the most part, "this is for the best" is friend-code for "I don't really want to face your grief." Closure is what we do to ourselves to try and avoid the grieving.
So many people go through life thinking that if they can pick their way through the minefield in exactly the right way, nothing will ever explode. We enter relationships with people who we don't really match, and then we spend all of our time trying to say and do the things that will somehow change that person. We manage our outward appearance and massage our social impressions just so, in the hope that everyone we ever encounter will like us. And, we try and find just the right thing to say to "finish up" a relationship.
The truth is that we are the sum of all of our experiences. Just because someone has died, or moved on, doesn't mean that they are no longer a part of who we are. We try and reach closure so we don't have to just sit with the knowledge that something sad has happened. We try and mask the loss by telling ourselves that the loose ends are all wrapped up now and we never will think of that person again, that we will never have to grieve the fact that they're gone.
Here's a thought: What if we just keep them all with us, forever? They don't have to be in the front of the line. We don't have to store them on that shelf at eye-level. But, what if we accept that in our complex minds, there's room for everyone? Sit with the loss. Accept some of the blame. Forgive the other person, over time. Feel love and gratitude for what they've brought to your life. Then, carefully place them somewhere within yourself where they're no longer as important, but still just as big a part of you as every other experience. Let a favorite song take you back, and make you cry, and then move to the next moment in your life.
Take the energy you've spent fighting off the existence of your grief, and put that energy into creating more love to put into the world. You'd be surprised at how easy that gets when you practice.