Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What it Costs Us

Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What it Costs Us

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by Nancy Berns
     
 

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When it comes to the end of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, or even a national tragedy, we are often told we need "closure." But while some people do find closure for their pain and grief, many more feel closure does not exist and believe the notion only promises false hopes. Sociologist Nancy Berns explores these ideas and their ramifications in her

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Overview

When it comes to the end of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, or even a national tragedy, we are often told we need "closure." But while some people do find closure for their pain and grief, many more feel closure does not exist and believe the notion only promises false hopes. Sociologist Nancy Berns explores these ideas and their ramifications in her timely book, Closure. This book explains how the push for closure-whether we find it helpful, engaging, or enraging-is changing our society.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"Our grandparents did not seek closure after the death of a loved one," observes Berns (sociology, Drake Univ.; Framing the Victim: Domestic Violence, Media and Social Problems) in this compelling book. "Closure" as a signifier for the end of grief has come into wide use, and Berns, who experienced a profound loss when she gave birth to a stillborn son, is here to reinforce what most of us intuitively know: feeling bad about losing a loved one never really ends. By commodifying the concept of closure in order to sell products and services, however, society has put pressure on us to conform to the prevailing "feeling rules," suggesting that disappointment, loss, and grief can and should come to an arbitrary end. Berns angrily dismisses this notion. Surely the desire to love (and miss) someone who is gone continues, despite "the tangled mess of closure talk," with the same word used for neatly tying up divorce, death, school violence, the death penalty, and grief for a dead pet. VERDICT Berns wisely counsels us to find other language and perspectives for living with grief, and this lucid debunking of the current use of the word "closure" is a breath of fresh air, recommended for both general readers and specialists.—Ellen D. Gilbert, Princeton, NJ
From the Publisher
"[C]ompelling...Berns, who experienced a profound loss when she gave birth to a stillborn son, is here to reinforce what most of us intuitively know: feeling bad about losing a loved one never really ends. By commodifying the concept of closure in order to sell products and services, however, society has put pressure on us to conform to the prevailing 'feeling rules,' suggesting that disappointment, loss, and grief can and should come to an arbitrary end. Berns angrily dismisses this notion.... VERDICT Berns wisely counsels us to find other language and perspectives for living with grief, and this lucid debunking of the current use of the word 'closure' is a breath of fresh air, recommended for both general readers and specialists."
—Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439905777
Publisher:
Temple University Press
Publication date:
08/05/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
228
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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