Big Questions, Death, Purpose
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Sometimes There Is No Answer—But There Still Is Purpose

person walking through shaded tunnel

Purpose has been the topic on my heart the past few days. In struggling with a family friend’s fight to stay alive, finding and pursuing purpose has become ever present, ever pressing in my mind.

I can’t shake the thought that our time here is impermanent.

Just the day before my friend’s brain aneurysm, I shared this on Facebook: “None of us are on this earth forever, and we can’t let it be too late to tell the people we love that we love them.”

How frighteningly quick these words rang true.

When we’re faced with the last days of our lives, purpose becomes so urgent. We reflect on the life we’ve lived, on the influence we’ve had on others, and we try to understand what the meaning behind everything is. When lives are taken from us too fast, we struggle with the questions, with the answers, desperate to understand why.

I wrote about that just yesterday—the idea that we don’t really get an answer sometimes—but that not knowing doesn’t make our lives any less purposeful.

And as I write myself around and around in circles, I keep coming back to that thought: Death does not end a life. And there IS so much purpose, even in the most painful moments of our lives.

When a tragedy or accident happens, when life flashes before our lives, we’re forced to see the way we’ve been living in a different light. We’re forced to come to terms with the beatings of our hearts and recognize whether we’ve been living in tune with our inner desires, or running for the sake of running.

We’re forced to close our eyes, to pray, to re-center and re-align. And as we search for meaning in pain, as we search for the answers in difficult moments and often come up empty, we’re forced realize that sometimes life does not give us answers, does not explain the ‘how’ or the ‘why,’ but simply allows us to see everything in a new light.

And so, our journey becomes not about finding answers but recognizing the meaning that is all around us—seeing and seeking purpose in the time we have left.

Sometimes there is no answer. But that doesn’t mean the lives we’ve lived aren’t beautiful. It doesn’t mean there isn’t the ability to fight, to continue. It doesn’t mean we can’t pick up the pieces and start again, with our attention on who we want to be and where we want to go from this moment forward.

It doesn’t mean that there isn’t so much love, and light, and incredible things—even if an ending looms near.

This is what I remind myself of, this is what I will continue to write. There is joy. There is love. There is family, friends, strangers coming together. There is tomorrow. There is faith. There is strength. There is healing. There is connection. There is purpose. There is hope.

Featured Image Credit: Joe Keating[

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Marisa Donnelly, M.Ed., is a writer/editor, credentialed teacher, proud bonus mama, and CEO of Be A Light Collective, a coaching and content creation business and digital marketplace. She is the Director of Donnelly’s Daily Apple, a flexible learning/tutoring and educational resource platform, and the lead voice for Momish Moments and Step by Step Parents, verticals dedicated to sharing and advocating for non-traditional parenting journeys. Marisa currently resides in San Diego, California, with her fiancé, kiddo, and their two rambunctious Pitbulls. ❤️


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