I took life for granted until David died. It is then that I realized my purpose in life.
When I told the therapist after David died that I no longer have purpose, he told me that it was alright not to have a purpose. However, I knew that it is not alright. I began to drift. I did not know who I was. I did not know what to do with the rest of my life. My life was in a great crisis. I asked many big questions such as what is the meaning of life. What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life? However, there were no answers to these questions.
I did not want to get up in the morning. I did not want to do anything. I just sat on the couch for hours reflecting over the loss, crying and wondering if I can survive. I was totally devastated and in deep despair. I wanted to die. I wanted for my life to be over. I could not go on as before.
As a professor, I disconnected from my colleagues. I only did the minimal. I taught in between tears and screams and went home doing the same thing. Crying in the car became routine. Students tried to console me, but nothing seemed to work.
I realized one day that I could not continue like this. I could not take life for granted. I realized that life is a gift from God. I realized that every moment counts. I started letting go of trivial concerns and decided to set myself free. I discovered myself. I know who I am and not what people want me to be. It took me 9 years before I was able to reconnect again. I still have days when I have a difficult time surviving.
I realized that part of my existence depended on caring for my son. Now that he was gone, I began to feel useless and helpless. At the same time my lovely daughter gave me a grandson. I embraced him. I decided to pour all my love into him. He gave me the courage to love again. He became a big part of my life. I could teach him about his uncle. I could impact his life for the good. I could make him see the beauty of nature and appreciate beautiful things. I could teach him that money cannot buy happiness.
Students see me now as a most compassionate teacher who cares about them like no other. One student told me that among all the teachers that she had throughout her life, she finds me to be the best and nicest teacher that she ever had. I told her that I was educated by sorrow. I considered myself as a good teacher before, but now I realize that I am better than I have ever been. I see my students differently. I realize the potential in each one of them. I teach them to be creative and to live in the present rather than in the future. I teach them to grasp the day and to be the best that they can be.
I always enjoyed nature, but now I am more connected to it. I began to see beauties that I did not see before. The sky became very precious to me. I gaze at it daily as my heart reaches towards my son. It is never the same from moment to moment and day after day. I often am awake in the morning and see the dawn coming up. In the evening I watch the sunset. During the days I envision images in the clouds and at night I see starry skies and the moon in all its glory.
Nature not only connects me to my son, but it connects me to God. Although God was a big part of my life before David died, now He is my only consolation. I talk to Him and pour my heart out to Him. I tell Him that I love Him even though my son is gone. I cry to Him and ask Him to soothe my pain and sorrow. I cling to Him in love.
I decided to move away from people who upset me and did not understand me and I made new friends. I decided that I did not want to live a façade but wanted people to know who I am and what I stand for. I became bold in expressing how I feel and how I think.
I became committed to writing in an attempt to help others. My writings are personal and honest. They reflect my devastation, my loss, my pain and my great love towards my son.
I spend a great deal of time alone. I reflect over the past. I continue to put meaning into my life. I no longer live in the future. I take every day seriously and thank God for granting me the day. Nothing is taken for granted any longer. I cherish my family and my friends. Now I follow my heart as it guides me along the way. I do not waste my time as I realize that every moment is precious.
My self-worth evaporated when I lost David, but I am claiming it back. I realize that I live at a higher level of existence and that I am connected to my soul. I discovered my soul and I commune with it.
My therapist was wrong when he told me that it was alright not to have a purpose, but maybe at the time he was right. He wanted to let me know that I need to heal before I can claim my purpose in life again. Without purpose we drift. Purpose is powerful and necessary. It guides us and allows us to shape our lives and gives meaning and passion to everything that we do.