Thursday Tidbits

Posted on April 22, 2021 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet

Baxter’s Harbour, N.S.

(Painting by Keith Currie)


According to the House of Commons Procedure and Practice, “Closure is a procedural device to bring debate on a question to a conclusion.”

I learned a lot about Canadian politics back in my university days, mostly from esteemed parliamentarian and scholar, Dr.John B. Stewart. Now closure may be a tool to wind up a long debate in the House of Commons, but it bears no resemblance to the word closure, which is bandied about so often when it comes to grief.

As I often do, I sent birthday greetings to an old friend a few days ago. We went to university together and I was the beneficiary of his exceptional cooking talents on many occasions. Our discussion was harmless enough as we discussed many topics. We were talking about how lucky we have both been to have lived this long and lived this well. Then, the discussion took a serious U-turn. I don’t know what prompted me to say this, but I remembered his younger sister who passed away when we were school age boys. I lamented that his sister never had the same chance to live a full and productive life.

My friend reminded me that his sister passed away 56 years ago. That piece of information stopped me in my tracks. He went on to say that his sister died the day before his birthday and ever since then, birthdays have been bittersweet. “I can still feel the pain of that loss.”

Of course, I felt like an arsehole for bringing this up, but my friend didn’t seem to mind at all. He went on to say, “She’s always front of mind on my birthday, a constant companion you might say. My love for her overcame the grief. A wise friend told me that day as I cried out my grief and loss, that I would never forget this pain, but it would get easier to remember. He was right.”

There is no such thing as closure in the real world and people should stop using the word, especially media types.

“I do catch myself wondering what she would have become had she lived. She was very smart and quite beautiful,” he went on to say.

Last weekend, Nova Scotians and many Canadians remembered those who suffered senseless deaths in Portapique, Nova Scotia a year ago. For the families of those who lost their lives, there will not be closure but only memories.

I have a friend who lost her mom a year and a half ago. The pain of her death is visceral to this day. Every time she posts a picture of her mom, the pain comes oozing off the page.

I didn’t want this post to open old wounds for those of you who have suffered loss. We have all been touched by death. My intention was to simply acknowledge that our loved ones will never be forgotten.

It is amazing how the brain so craftily stores painful and joyful memories.

Our conversation ended with these words from my friend: “Yesterday we can’t worry about. Tomorrow is ephemeral and does not exist. We live in the present and can only deal with things as they arise.”

There is no debate on this one.

Have a great weekend.



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