Labor Day & Closure

by P. Braithwaite

Even though Fall is my favorite season, Labor Day always makes me a little sad.

Something about the chill in the air lets me know that the lazy days of summer are over. Winter is just around the corner – somehow I equate cooler weather with a call to get more serious.  This year, though, I’ve been grieving the impending Fall more than usual. Maybe it’s because there are big changes afoot: post-grad teaching, new apartment, new job, new goals. Or maybe it’s because Labor Day reminds me that all things have cycles — all things come to an end.

This transition makes me think about closure. Does it exist? Does one need it? How does one go about getting it?

Closure, I guess, is like Labor day. It’s that definitive moment – that beautiful moment where the end and the beginning merge. Granted, its not the official first day of Fall, but it could be, we all know the white shoes and white parties are tucked away until next year. So, like closure, Labor Day is a vessel for sadness. It’s that moment we can pin-point for the intrinsic understanding that, although good things are ahead, awesome things have slipped away yet again.

I should mention that my Labor Day was pretty lazy. I found myself with no parties to attend, no getaways to get to, and no barbeques to crash.  The pressure to find plans was pretty intense, and it was hard not to kick myself for being unprepared. Why do I build up these holidays? Why do I place so much emphasis on these moments? Much like we might build up our Labor Day weekend plans, I think sometimes we have unrealistic expectations about what closure looks like: will it make the feelings stop? Will we regret less, or stop feeling anger? Will there be fireworks followed immediately by a hot new romance?

I don’t know.

Ultimately, I think closure is less of an event and more of a quiet resignation. It’s the intrinsic knowing that there is nothing left to say. You take a deep breath, savor the last of the barbecue smell, lick your fingers, and pull your sweater a littler closer to your chest. The season has changed; moments are now memories.

There is nothing left to do but move forward…