The Myth of Closure

An interview with Nancy Berns, author of Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What It Costs Us. Berns argues that closure “simply doesn’t exist. While grief can diminish over time, there is no clear process that brings it to an end – and no reason that achieving this finality should be our goal.

People are told they need closure whether we’re talking about bad relationships or terrorist attacks, so it’s a wide variety of issues. We also see closure become an essential part of sales talks, whether it’s in funeral, grief, or relationship advice industries, as well as a political argument for issues ranging from the death penalty to memorials … .Closure really has saturated our popular culture … because it’s an effective way to sell ideas and to sell politics and products. As a result, people have come to believe that they do need closure.


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