Closure is a Myth
According to McGilchrist in his book, The Master and His Emissary, logic, language and goal-focus are located in the left hemisphere of my brain; emotions and interpersonal connection are located in the right hemisphere of my brain and correspond to my body. The corpus callosum which units the hemispheres has become weaker with evolution, meaning I am poorly equipped to integrate language and emotions. If I tell myself a story about how I’ve been wronged and expect to feel relief from anger, I am out of luck. I’ll end up with a resentment: my left hemisphere’s process for logic and languaging anger(similarly, worry is a cover for fear).
Anger, like all emotions, is a relationship between my right hemisphere and my somatic experience. Anger is a way for my body to send me a message: a boundary has been crossed or my needs are not being met. Adding a story to anger is an attempt to logic my feelings away. As any grieving person can tell you, logic has little to do with the coming and going of grief.
Because my emotions have no sense of time, I may feel that I’ve done a lot of healthy grieving around the death of my parents; I may even feel like I’m done grieving
…then I will see a jar of Folger’s Instant in CVS. I will miss my Mom with a ferocity that shows itself in the tight chest, tight painful belly, clenched muscles around the eyes. My body will feel the sadness newly, and I will do my best to receive its message: this is an on-going process. There is more grief for which to hold a space.
It gets better. The grief does lessen. And the best news is that I am built to live with all my emotions – we all are. I just need to listen to them.
p.s. I highly recommend Ian McGilchrist's book — he does a great job of putting complex ideas into digestible language. He's generously offered the introduction as a free download.