The "closing date" occurs when all the loan documents are officially recorded at the county records office. You are not required to do anything on that date because your part is already done.
The loan documents must be signed prior to the closing date so that the lender has time to review all the papers and make sure they have been properly signed and everything is in order. The signing can take place at any time prior to closing, as long as the lender has sufficient time to review the documents -- typically at least a day or two. In some cases, the closing papers can be signed a week or two prior to the scheduled closing date.
If your are planning to be out to town when your loan is scheduled to close, make sure to schedule a signing appointment at your escrow office before you leave town. If necessary, the loan closing documents can be sent to you by FedEx. You would then sign them in front of a Notary Public and FedEx them back to the escrow office prior to the scheduled closing date.
So as you can see, we can work around your schedule. We try to make the loan closing process as easy and painless as possible.