Had a conversation with a man whose wife had recently died. She was a vibrant person – high energy and full of life. She developed dementia and he told of his daily visits, her decline, and how the disease took her vibrancy, her energy, and eventually her life. But the saddest part was he shared that he had lost his purpose. It was living in her wake, then intensely caring for her, then emptiness.
My reflections on this are simple. First, we never know what’s going on in other’s lives. I have a friend that calls it the “personal hells we know nothing about.” Life swirls on around us and we get caught up in the storm or sometimes it blows us over. To see this man walking down the street you’d have little indication that there was this hollowness and pain.
Secondly, while part of the issue is probably his still working through grief, don’t we all need a purpose, a mission? Don’t we all have the need to be needed?
And I’m finding out that those goals are moving targets. Targets that move due to life circumstances.