One of the biggest effects of the death of a partner is the feeling that your life no longer has purpose. My purpose was to be the best partner I could to James and the best puppy mom to Sammy and Charlie. I knew that Sammy and Charlie would only be with us for a short time (relatively speaking) but never would have guessed my time with James would end before our time with the boys did. In a split second, my world was shattered: my purpose was gone and I no longer had anything to live for, other than the dogs. And what happens when they are gone? Then I will truly have no purpose. (Do not hit your desk in frustration A, just keep reading). Pretty much all I can do is hope that when the time comes for the boys go live with James, I will have figured out my sense of purpose; that I will have a new reason to keep getting out of bed in the morning.
But here's the thing: that's not my sense of purpose. That is my sense of happiness. And they are not the same. I don't believe my life's purpose was to love James. I do believe without a shadow of a doubt we were meant to be together. I truly believe James, Sammy, Charlie and I were meant to be a family, as non-traditional as we were. I believe this with all my heart. But, I am still here and he is not-his purpose is fulfilled. There is still something I am meant to do. I am here to do more than just love James and our dogs.
I have thought about this a lot over the last 19 months and feel very strongly about the conclusions I have come to. As I said, James and I were meant to be together. Everything that we went through we were supposed to endure together. What I have come to believe and accept a little more each day is that James' purpose was to get me to the point where I could continue on and complete my purpose. I will never understand why he was only to get me to that point and was not to stay here to cheer me on and be by my side as I do what I am supposed to do. The only thing I can think of is that his death is somehow the trigger for it and I cannot yet grasp how or what that is.
I don't know exactly what it is I am supposed to do, but I know that I am in some way supposed to help people. As time goes on, the "what" will be revealed to me but I have a feeling it involves writing. I don't know how I know this; I just do. I was put here to help others. And prior to being with James, I was too shy and did not have enough inner strength and/or faith in myself to carry this out. I need the tools he gave me both in life and in death.
I also believe my fear of being alone deeply plays into this. It is not that I am afraid I can't make it on my own. I prove I can make it everyday. The fear is that if I am alone, then no one needs me. If no one needs me, then how can I help them? And if no one needs my help, then I don't need to be here. I have no purpose. And I am so not ready for my number to be up. (It can't be up yet-I need to be here for my boys and I really want to know who MH #2 is first. I need to know if the Magic 8 ball was right. And I am going to go parasailing one of these days, though probably not in Mexico since I am 0-2 there. I think I'll give Hawaii or Jamaica a try. I simply have a lot of living left to do).
This realization hit me today as I was preparing for my volunteer project. I noticed that the volunteer coordinator put the project for October on the calendar and that I am not the project leader. My insecurities flared up and my first thought was that they were "firing" me. I am sure that is not the case and that this is a matter of a new person not yet knowing the ropes. On my way there, I was very upset thinking they can't take this away from me. I need them to need me: I need the feeling of purpose I get from leading this project. I need the feeling of purpose that comes from them knowing they can count on me to be there for them. The thought did cross my mind that if they truly were changing the way the project is handled, I would just find a project that did need me. The volunteer coordinator was not there this evening so I will have to clear this all up when I see her on Saturday. And I think it is safe to say I have been volunteering there long enough the other employees are not going to just let me walk away. I am pretty sure the store manager appreciates having a project leader that can run the show freeing him up to get his other work done. He wouldn't have (sort of) made part of the store my baby if he didn't.
I don't really know where to go next. I know I just have to keep plugging along and let this all unfold as it is supposed to. I wish I knew James was only here to get me from Point A to Point B a long time ago. I would have taken a lot longer to get to Point B. Now all I can do is hope that his new purpose allows him to continue to guide me along because while he may have completed his mission, it doesn't mean I don't still need him to help me with mine.