I believe that each and every person has a purpose in life, even if it is not a popular one. Our lives are preconceived and the pages already written. Denial does not change the inevitable. Denial does not stop the process. Denial only hurts the ones denying the inevitable.
I lost my 20-year-old daughter to heroin on 11-21-06. Well, let me rephrase that… I lost my daughter to heroin in early 2005, but she died in 2006. Even though I would like to believe that she left this world too early, I know in my heart that she died just as was intended. My daughter had a destiny to fulfill and then went home to God because that can be the only reason to take someone so precious, so perfect, so smart, and so loved away from a mother.
So the questions that are probably trotting across the minds of the readers are: Why didn’t you stop her? Do you expect pity? Why didn’t you do something? I did. I loved her. I demonstrated that love to her every single day. The questions that we have to ask ourselves are: What should we learn from the death of a loved one? What are we supposed to do in response to that death? What should change?
When a person is born, he or she has a connection to the world. Because of that connection and interaction that child has on a minute to minute basis from the first seconds of breath, someone should be learning something from that human being. So, how do we know what our purpose is? We probably don’t know and maybe we are not supposed to know. The one thing I do know is, since my daughter’s death there has not been one person I have come across since that time that I don’t think about what I should learn from him or her and what I want that person to learn from me. I have found myself listening better, looking into a person’s eyes when he or she speaks, and thinking about what that person will learn from me. I pray that what he or she learns from me is: kindness, fairness, a sense of humanity, and the realization that we all need to be sure that the legacy that we leave behind is worth remembering and learning from.
My daughter is gone. I have learned that there are things stronger than my love. I have also learned that her death opened up an opportunity for me to tell my students and anyone else who will listen that drugs are not the answer to anything and that I need to make myself available to anyone who needs an ear. I can only guess that the purpose of her death being caused from the use of heroin was so I can be the voice of reason…and then maybe my purpose will be complete too. I do know that I have to use this avenue that Jil opened for me.
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