Friday, January 23, 2009


During a conversation today, someone used the term "closure" regarding the recent ending of a relationship. I could feel irritation rising within me for that word "closure" bothers me.
I do not like this concept used in reference to people....Use it for stores, and freeways and Guantanamo Bay but please, not for living and breathing entities such as ourselves who have been created for eternity.

The late John O' Donohue had this to say (and oh how I miss his voice!) "Due to the current overlay of therapy terminology in our language, everyone now seems to wish for 'closure'. This word is unfortunate; it is not faithful to the open-ended rhythm of experience. Creatures made of clay with porous skin and porous minds are quite incapable of the hermetic sealing that the strategy of 'closure' seems to imply. The word completion is a truer word. Each experience has within it a dynamic of unfolding and a narrative of emergence." - John O' Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us, p. 157

Another O'Donohue quote in this same vein can be found here.


Lori said...

Thank you!

gene said...

Could well be, but i think there can be danger in leaving some things "open ended", thus "Closure" works better for me than "Completion." A bad experience is something I want to "get over" not complete.

Ellie Finlay said...

Oh, yes. I so miss John O'Donohue as well. His death was such a shock last year.

Jaliya said...

Roberta ... Beautiful post. I agree with you about "closure" -- as if, eh? ;-)

I use the word "resolution" to describe events and situations that appear to be finished ... for the moment. "Resolution" also implies, for me, a re-solution --> perhaps another solution is in the works ... or an issue needs to be relinquished for a time into the deeps ... into the "solution," as it were ...

Bless you xo