Stepping past the edge

August 15, 2011

What matters most in life is what you do next.

Key Points

This morning when I got up, my mind was clear at last. It is as though I have awakened from a very long night of fitful dreams filled with distorted images.

Last summer, my 20-year-old son took his life in a particularly violent manner. For me, everything stopped. I could not speak, I could not even breathe.

Since then, I've spent many months acting more like a wounded animal than a man. Sounds have escaped me that I did not know I could make.

I look into the mirror and see someone I barely recognize, someone completely disheveled.

Not a day goes by that I am not crushed and bewildered all over again.

There were times when I thought it would take me as well.

At this point, I am sure you are asking yourself, "What place does this story have in Drug Topics?" I have been asking myself the same question for quite a while now. Words like these are not usually found in a pharmacy journal. But perhaps you and I are more connected than you think.

We all have a belief system we use to order our lives. It would be safe to say that mine has been completely dismantled. I am deeply confronted about everything I know, everything I do, and everything I am.

My questions are larger than my mind and larger than my life. What happens next for me, I don't know.

Let me tell you what I do know.

Like you, I am dedicated to science. I am highly trained and extremely disciplined.

My emotional life has been anything but stable; but when it comes to my thinking, the loss of my son has simplified and clarified everything.

The weight and texture of my days are like nothing I knew before. Tragic though the cause may be, I now see and hear and feel everything very differently.

The question before me is "What am I going to do with that?"

We all face the same question.

What are we going to do next?

Most of us overcommit ourselves to things we don't really care about. It's common to feel as if our time is owned by others, to feel as if our choices are limited.