"It was Easier When Chandra First Went Missing"

As Chandra Levy's suspected killer, convicted rapist Ingmar Guandique, goes to trial, people want to know if it will help bring her parents, Robert and Susan Levy, "closure."

"You get used to it...you keep on living," says her father in this Washington Post video. But when he talks about everyone's favorite word, "closure," he's frustrated. "Closure...is when a company goes out of business or a building is boarded up."

There's even less when you consider that, while Robert Levy is "pretty sure" that Guandique's the killer, his wife Susan, who plans to attend the trial, isn't. As she tells the Post, "I don't know. There's still a lot of questions that I have, and I don't know if I will ever get answers."

The family is involved with organizations and rallies for missing children and Robert Levy says he tries, in his oncology practice, to "help as many people as he can." The "Modern Love" column in this week's NY Times addresses this very issue of coping. Having lost a child, the author writes that she faced a choice: "Succumb to despair, or pick myself up and deal. I decided to make Prozac's acquaintance and get on with it."

In Levy's case, the trial itself may result in a conviction, but even if it does, it will be without DNA or corroborating witnesses: a matter of hearsay and circumstantial evidence. And whatever the outcome, don't count on "closure." If we check in with the Levys in another seven years — and if we do, I hope it'll be only at their request — they will probably still be keeping on, and still grieving. We want to believe people can find "closure" from the unimaginable. But maybe it's more instructive to see people "picking themselves up and dealing," day after day.

For Chandra Levy's Family, Trial Won't Bring An End To Grief [Washington Post]