“As her body lay there cold and lifeless with no expression on her face, I struggled to look at her, to accept that death had taken her away. I remember closing my eyes and picturing her as a young woman again, free from the constraints of her aged body, dancing through fields of flowers, united with her loved ones. That’s how I wanted to think of this strong woman, this woman that had taught me so much, that’s how I wanted to think of my Nanna”
It is inevitable, it is unstoppable, it is uncontrollable, it is the ultimate farewell. Just as we see cycles throughout nature, death forms part of the cycle of life. For many it is the end and for many death is the doorway for the soul to continue on it’s journey. Whatever we believe, whether we think about it or not, at some point we must all confront it – whether it be the passing of a loved one or our own date with destiny.
As a youngster death was something I thought little about. As time has passed, I watch my parents getting older, I watch my husband and daughter getting older and I am reminded that none of us will live in this form forever. To me it’s not a happy feeling, but that sense of mortality inspires me to find purpose and to find meaning in this life. I feel as though if I can fulfil my purpose and help my loved ones to find and fulfil theirs, then at the end though it will be sad, we can in some respect feel content that we achieved or at least attempted to achieve what we set out to. If I only live once I want to know that my time here was worth it.
My nanna was fortunate to live a long life. Whilst she faced many challenges in her own life, her bold, strong spirit, her stories of resilience, inspired her children and grand children to develop strong characters, to feel passionate about helping others and to be forgiving. I now see the story she left as inspiration for her loved ones and a part of the purpose she fulfilled.
So how do we find our purpose? Some say follow your heart, some say explore life, others say find your passion and it will lead you to your purpose. There is probably no right or wrong answer, but I think the first step is to consciously seek it out. As a little girl I remember sitting with my nanna as she wrote in a little book, daily prayers and memoirs. It was as this time in my life she was instilling in me a passion for writing that I wouldn’t recognise till almost 30 years later. I still don’t know if this is part of my purpose, but I do hope that as she inspired me I can at least inspire a few to begin seeking out their purpose.
And so I leave you with this – In the words of Myles Munroe “ the greatest tragedy in life is not death but a life without purpose.”