Today I am chatting with a friend over Facebook. She asks me how I’ve changed since Shayna passed. Wow. That’s a big question. My first thought is “I don’t know.” It’s way too soon how I will change, but asking how I have changed so far is certainly a fair question.
The first thing that comes to mind is even more of a detachment from this world. I have never felt I fit in here. I don’t know if I meet the true definition of an empath, but I have always been way too sensitive for this world. The injustice, the loneliness, the competition, the separation, it’s always seemed “off” to me. I remember being a young child and watching the evening news when they’d report on Viet Nam and give the daily body counts. What kind of a place are we living in where people intentionally kill as many other people as they can? To this day, I cannot understand war. I cannot understand developing technology to kill as many people are possible. I cannot accept it as normal to send people off to foreign lands where someone else tries to blow them up and they come back missing arms, legs, with traumatic brain injuries- and those are just the injuries we see.
I could not understand and I still do not understand how one man can have enough wealth for 1,000 or 10,000 homes while another man starves. I used to think of a utopia where people simply worked for the good of everyone and shared with everyone who had a need. Later I would find out that is called socialism, and socialism is evil.
People like me tend to be depressed and, for a good part of my life, I was. Meeting Tywana gave me something to live for, someone else I was responsible for and the first true sense of purpose I had here on Earth, other than just marking days. Living just for the sake of growing older has never appealed to me. A long life has never been something I aspired towards. When the girls were born, first Kayla, then Shayna, I knew I had something to be here for- to build a future for them. For the first time, I set a goal for longevity. I wanted to live at least long enough to see Shayna graduate from college. I wanted to be here for them.
So, what has changed since Shayna passed is the grip the world got on me, the feeling of this place being somewhat “normal” has lessened significantly. I see through the maya- the illusion of this world. I see the aimless wandering (samsara) that most of us participate in. I am torn because I feel I still have a purpose here. I know I have a purpose here. I have two people I have committed to. But, I see clearly who I truly am, where the road leads and I know who and what is waiting for me at the end of the road.
So, what does that all mean? Well, I live every day now with the end in mind. I am mindful of most of the things I do, at least more than I was before. I think of everything in terms of its impact on my karma, how I will view it one day in my life review. I try to discern and work towards my life purpose to make this life as fruitful as possible. And I live in the tension between the pain I’m enduring now and the joy that comes in the morning.