About two weeks after Shawn passed away, I received a post card in the mail. On the front of the post card were the words, “Share your story.” The first thought that came to mind was sharing my story about Shawn and my journey as a survivor of suicide. How did someone know to send this to me? I then realized it was sent to encourage me to share my story as an educator. However, on the bulletin board within the picture were just two letters–SF, Shawn’s initials. That’s when I decided I wanted to write. Through this very painful experience, I found purpose. I wanted to share my story in the hopes that I could one day help others going through a similar loss.
I believe each and every life experience shapes us into who we are and who we are meant to be. Perhaps this is what I am supposed to be doing right now at this very moment. I challenge each and everyone of you who are experiencing a loss or other hardships in life, to find purpose in it. Maybe it is privately sharing your story of loss to help someone else. Maybe it is volunteering your time. Maybe it is pursuing a career that meets your passions and beliefs. Maybe it is being the best mom, dad, brother, sister, or friend you can be. Maybe it is engaging in new life activities–painting, yoga, horseback riding, or running.
Whatever it may be, it is so important to find meaning in your life again. Because without purpose for me, there is just pain–and that is no way to live.