I don’t know about you but I’m not necessarily feeling much closure even with Osama Bin Laden’s death. Don’t get me wrong, his death is a victory. His death is a step that needed to happen. His death is a step in this war-on-terror. But is the war-on-terror closed? Are we safe? Is life back to the way it was before 9/11? I’m thinking not.
We had a family vacation this past week to Washington DC where we spent a bit of time touring the monuments and memorials around the city. I was still pretty freaked out every time I looked up to see an airplane (coming out of Reagen Airport) appear to be headed right to the Washington National Monument. It was their air-traffic pattern and I’m sure folks that live in DC are pretty used to that view. (Actually, I’d be pretty curious to know if folks that live near an airport and large buildings ever get used to that site.) But this Midwestern-gal was clearly /not used/ to it. Does the death of Osama Bin Laden bring closure to 9/11 for me? Nope.
Closure. I enjoyed what Joanne Steen had to say at the recent Military Bloggers Conference. She was part of a panel of Gold Star Families. She is a military-widow, a counselor and an author. She was very knowledgeable and I can imagine she has helped many after they have lost a loved one. But what stuck with me was her thoughts on closure. Military-widows as well as Gold-Star families don’t feel closure after a funeral, they don’t feel closure after a few weeks, months, years. Closure is just not part of the grieving process. Closure insinuates that a chapter has closed, your emotions have been checked at the door, and life continues.
After a military-death life does continue, whether you like it or not. But now it’s the “New Normal”. Ms Steen as well as Shelly Hall, another Gold-Star Wife on the panel, made it very clear that becoming a widow is complete upheaval and there is no chapter-closing, emotion-check, back-to-normal. Ever.
So I’m trying to grapple with this word, closure. I just can’t get my head wrapped around it because death, whether the villain or the Hero, does not bring resolution, conclusion, finality. It only brings about change, small changes and big changes.
So to our American military families – Remain vigilant! Remain strong! Each day is our new normal.