I was listening to NPR while I was out and about today, but I suspect that I would have heard the same type of broadcast on any news radio station I chose today. Elated callers were sharing their patriotic enthusiasm for the killing of Osama Bin Laden and many of them expressed their thankfulness for the closure that taking out Bin Laden would give the families of the victims of 9/11. I just don’t see how this will provide any closure for our family or any other 9/11 families. “Closure”… What is meant by that word anyway? Now that Bin Laden is dead, should we feel lighter? Should we feel less loss? Should we feel like 9/11 is more behind us?
Our family, immediate and extended, has learned to adapt to the post 9/11 new normal. We have learned to live without, much like one would have to live without after loosing a limb. I would suppose Killing Osama Bin Laden gives us as much closure as an artificial limb gives closure to an amputee. Even though we have become accustomed to the loss, we are painfully aware of it nonetheless. When my husband received his Doctorate 9 years ago, my mother in law celebrated her son’s achievement without her husband, when my husband’s first son was born 6 years ago, my husband was painfully aware that his father would never meet his grandson, and when our son was the ring bearer for his oldest cousin last May, their Grandpa would have been beaming and we all missed seeing Grandpa’s proud smile. We have learned to live the new normal, not because we want to, but because we have to.
So before you thank God for giving us closure, think about much closure you would have with your artificial limb. Think about how easy it is to open a mayonnaise jar. Think about the way your child’s had feels when laced with yours. Think about the joy you remember when you see your wedding band on your left ring finger. And then think about how that would feel with prosthetic, artificial, metal or plastic hands. Sure you’ll adjust, but you will never have closure. Maybe instead it would be more appropriate to thank God for the strength He has given us to not live with hardened hearts and the strength found through Christ alone to every day keep putting one foot in front of the other. Now those things, those are worth being thankful for.