As you have most likely experienced, as I have, "there is no closure to grief." Death is not an issue or matter to resolve and there doesn't ever seem to come to some sort of conclusion.
I have learned while living with some traumatic and heart wrenching losses that we can make peace with grief, but only, if we surrender our will and accept God's authority over life and death.
Though I would like all of my unanswered questions answered, and to be able to make sense out of God's timing, I believe as Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us . . .
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
This August, my 93 year old mom headed off to Heaven. She had been in long term care for 3 years and the last year she became very fragile and immobile. Because of COVID restrictions, I was unable to be with her as much as I wanted to, but during the last few weeks of her life I was able to spend many hours at her side and did all I could to let her know how much I loved her and what she means to me. My mom and I had a very special relationship; we grew up and old together.
Though I spent some precious moments and hours with my mm at the end of her life, I wasn't with her, when she took her last breath and that bothers me. It especially troubles me that I woke up at 5:00 am the morning she died and thought of getting up and going into the facility, but after 12 hours with her the day before, I decided to sleep for another hour. At 6:00 am, I got the call that she had died. Would going in at 5:00 am have provided me with some sense of closure? Would she have had final words for me? Did I miss something important or did she slip away in her final moment without incident? These questions are left unanswered and I think I will always wonder how she stepped into Eternity, and if I should have been at her side, when she took the step.
For some reason (God only knows why), I have never experienced a sense of closure after the death of anyone I have loved. My Dad died suddenly of a massive heart attack and I didn't get to say goodbye. My sister died while I was asleep with my head on her bed. Our youngest son died instantly of sudden cardiac death while surfing. My brother died minutes after I left his room for a short break, and now my mom died without me there with her either.
So, what can we do, when we have unanswered questions and don't experience a sense of closure after the death of someone we love? The dictionary defines closure as "a sense of resolution or conclusion" . . . . "a feeling that an emotional or traumatic experience has been resolved." A resolution is defined as "the act of solving a problem, dispute or contentious matter."
I do not perceive death as a problem, a dispute or a contentious matter to be solved, but most certainly as an "emotional, traumatic experience" and no matter how much time passes I know that I must leave the details in God's hands - His most capable and trustworthy hands. If I trust Him, His timing is all the closure I need, as well as my faith that one day I will experience absolute closure, when I am reunited with my loved ones, because I am confident they are with Him now.
If there is any sense of closure for me, it is the sense that I have no control over life or death, and I can only control what I believe and how I accept and live with loss. I believe that God is loving, and it is He who has control over life and death. That's closure enough for me. How about you, precious mom?
With open hands and heart,
Angie "a mom like you"