Do you have a reason for being? This question comes to mind because I was told by a person, who I adore very much, that he didn’t have a reason for being.
I recently went to a funeral for Estelle, my sister’s mother-in-law. She and her husband, Bob, were a fun couple to be around. They were upbeat, and you could tell that they were deeply devoted to each other. They did everything together. They were involved in many activities, including Estelle’s volunteer work with children.
Estelle and Bob first met when they were just ten years old. They later fell in love and were married for 67 years! Quite an accomplishment. They were true childhood sweethearts. How many people do you know who have been married that long?
Although Estelle had been in failing health for the past few years, her death was still a shock to Bob. His reason for being was to take care of her. As you can imagine, this was a traumatic loss for him!
At the memorial service, Bob told a beautiful story about his life with Estelle. It was heartfelt, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. In fact, I’m tearing up just thinking about it as I write this post.
After the funeral, Bob mentioned to me that he had no reason to live because he had lost his soulmate. I was a little flustered, and very sad. I gained my composure and mentioned to him that he still had a lot to live for. He had three very accomplished children, six grandchildren and many friends. I asked him if he wanted to participate in happy occasions with them and to see his grandchildren grow up. I also mentioned that he had a lot to teach everyone. Who couldn’t benefit from the wisdom of this kind and loving man?
He seemed to feel a little better. I told him to be patient with himself and to allow himself time to grieve this devastating loss. I suggested that he share his feelings with others and seek support from friends, family, or perhaps a grief counselor.
Unfortunately there will be many times in our lives when we feel lost and lose our way in life. If put in the proper perspective, we all have a reason for being, regardless of what stage of life we’re in. Isn’t life meant to be enjoyed? Isn’t there always something that we can contribute? Won’t there always be something that we can find to look forward to?
I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have. Feel free to pass this information on to others.
This Post Has 2 Comments
Cliff, so glad to hear you were able to bring a little peace (even only briefly) to Bob in his grief. Although I never felt like I had nothing to live for when my husband died (because I had a new baby to take care of) I can understand how people can feel they have no reason to live. It’s valuable in that case, I think, to ask the person what would their partner want for them ..? That may well put things into perspective.
It may take Bob some time to be able to relate to all he has to offer the world (and to begin again to enjoy his place in it), but I wish him well in healing from his loss, and creating a new life for himself. In my experience, the loss remains, but it’s impact on your life becomes much much less as the years go by (assuming you have expressed all your feelings around it, and continue to do so, as they come up).
Thank you for sharing this Cliff – I think it’s important to discuss these issues, especially for sensitive people, who feel things so much more deeply.
Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s helpful to hear that the loss remains, but the impact gets less as the years go on. Death is very hard to deal with, regardless of your age, or whether your highly sensitive or not. We need different perspectives on this topic from others who have been affected by it.
You brought out a very good point about asking the question about what would their partner want from them. This does put things in their proper perspective.
Please let me know of any other ways of coping with loss.