A friend of mine just posted something related to the Boston Marathon bombing and mentioned “closure” in a comment. In that moment, I thought about some writing I’ve done this week and some plans I’ve made for things I want to send out into the world either physically or electronically, and realized that that’s what they’re all about.
Closure. It’s such an elusive concept, and yet we assign it so much value. Getting closure, taking closure, never having a chance for closure… Closure is important to us. We feel like we need it in order to move on from moments that had an element of finality that we didn’t choose.
I don’t want to appropriate the Boston tragedy; yes, I have connections to it, but all of my loved ones were safe and accounted for and I haven’t lived there in 12 years. What is universal, whether you were born at Mass Gen or have never even been to the east coast, is the way an event like this hits: it could happen anywhere, and it could happen to you, to me, to the relative we haven’t talked to in five years, or “the one that got away.” We see the world differently, if only for a short time, and we either choose to act on that altered, heightened view, or we let it pass us by.
I’m choosing to act on it. I don’t have any expectations, and will try to maintain that once my actions are taken. I don’t foresee grand reconciliations or giant barriers being blown away like feathers. But I know that a weight will be lifted from my heart in each situation, as I’ll have done what I would have done days or months or years ago if my fears hadn’t been greater than my need to do what felt right at the time.
Thank you, Boston, for being my home, for being feisty and dirty and full of heart and teeming with vitality even in the midst of fatality. Thank you America for responding with support and unity and love, love, love. And thank you to each individual whose life will be forever changed by this week’s events. It is for you that I choose to change my life after this week, as well.