By Ochaya Jordan kilama

It was a Friday morning at eleven o’clock when Sarah called me.I hesitated answering her assuming she just wanted to nag me as usual. She had called a week before asking me to help her out with some money which I did. My cousin and I never really got along. She always reached out when she needed my help or was in trouble. As soon as I am done helping her, she never calls again. So I thought she was calling me for the same reasons this time too.Soon as my phone went silent ,she texted me. I can safely say this was the most devastating text message I have received all my life.

“Hey sister, I am sorry to inform you that we just lost aunt Cissy too . She felt sick and was rushed to the city hospital last night. The doctors managed to stabilise her for the night but she died this morning.”

In that moment, I didn’t know what to do. Whether to start crying or not. One thing I was sure of though was that the sleep I had disappeared and my whole body was trembling. Aunt Cissy was my favourite. I nicknamed her secret keeper. She knew about every crush or boyfriend I had. Aunt Cissy was a good listener and in her I knew I had a friend for life and in the blink of an eye, death robbed me of her.To top it all, she was the one helping my mother pay my school fees. I felt my dreams and career dying along with her. Because I had no one else to talk to freely, no one to tell what was bothering me or no one to call when I had problems at school. The worst part was that I also had no one to help my mother pay for my school fees.

I felt that life was meaningless and not worth living anymore. I started starving myself,death was my only way out. I couldn’t face the ordeal that had befallen me. because I became so weak to the point that Ifell seriously ill,but one day, as I was in my lonely zone feeling so depressed. I thought to myself.

“I know aunt Cissy would be terribly hurt seeing me suffer like this. For her soul to rest in peace,I have to live a life filled with happiness. I have to work hard and make her proud. I have to finish what she left behind by studying hard and completing my studies just the way she wanted. I can start from there.”

I realised that even if I cry she wasn’t returning and decided that I would live happily with her memories and make her proud by pursuing my dreams that she was working so hard to achieve. I started helping my mother to hawk bananas and other fruits in the streets in order to save enough money for my fees.

You may ask, what’s the meaning of life?The meaning of life transcends to a greater purpose, a life that goes beyond mere existence, a life that truly counts.You may have experienced moments in life where everything seems pointless, and the weight of suffering feels unbearable.It’s during these times that the importance of a meaningful life becomes apparent. Without purpose or direction, it can feel like you’re simply existing rather than truly living. But a meaningful life gives you a reason to keep going. It offers a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction that goes beyond material possessions or temporary pleasures.

When you have a purpose that inspires you, you can weather the storms of life with greater resilience and determination.And you may ask, what’s a meaningful life? It’s a life committed to a greater purpose, a life that entails using what you have for the benefit of mankind.A meaningful life is discovering who you are, your place in the world and doing your utmost best to alleviate the sufferings in the world.There may be suffering in the world, but a meaningful life allows you to rise above it. It enables you to make a positive impact on others, to pursue your passions, and to find joy in the simple things.So don’t give up hope, keep striving towards a meaningful life. Because when you do, you’ll find that suffering becomes more bearable, and life becomes more worthwhile.

And yes, you will not be able to alleviate all the suffering in this world, but a meaningful life is having the courage to contribute your quota, no matter how little it is and inspiring others to do the same.And if each of us can daily commit to changing the lives of those around us, this world will be a better place to live in, today and forever.

7 July, 2023