How My Journey Through Grief, Loss & Depression Led Me To Find My True Calling In Life

By Ruby Mabry

I am from a Caribbean background. My parents were from the beautiful island of Haiti. I am the third of four children. Two brothers and one sister. I was always the shy one. We grew up very tight knit and were raised in a Christian household. I had a strict upbringing and would not change it for the world. My childhood molded me into the respectful, well-rounded person I am today.

My parents were amazing. Well known in the community for their selflessness and always giving back. After high school, at 18 years old, I married my high school sweetheart. A few years later my father passed away seven days before Christmas when I was in my early 20’s, so my husband and I took my mother in with us and she traveled all over with us with the military.

My mother was a paraplegic. She was not your typical paraplegic. She did everything that any mother who could utilize their legs could do when we were growing up. As age progressed, her condition began to deteriorate, especially after the death of my father. Morning, noon and night, I fed her, bathed her, changed her, drained her catheter, took her to all her medical appointments and grew a very tight bond with her throughout the years. She actually became one of my best friends.

I took care of her for 17 years. To our surprise she was given a diagnosis one month and 2 months later she passed away quickly with leukemia. When she left us, I hit a slump and a deep depression for two years and stayed in seclusion. I went to my businesses, the grocery store and home. My life was on a long pause. I was depressed to the point that I contemplated suicide. I was broken and did not want to be fixed. I felt no one understood what I was going through.

I cried daily, several times a day, sometimes all day. I looked at the funeral video almost daily. I looked at her picture. I talked to myself and repetitively asked, “why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” I had to still function because I had a business to maintain and run, and a family that needed me. I began healing myself by writing posts on social media to encourage and inspire others. The feedback was great and I received many messages thanking me for uplifting and inspiring others daily.

Several people told me I should put these into a book and many years later, I took a leap of faith and did so. I was also asked to be in several magazines and on the radio daily with audio clips of my writing being broadcast. I soon realized that a simple way to understand and come to terms with your emotions is to write down whatever it is that is bothering you. If you want your life to change, writing can be a powerful tool.

I also learned that in every negative situation there was a positive, and to not sit and wallow in despair, but to let my fingers be my therapy by writing it down. The power of your mind is your link to freedom. Just to see how many people I was empowering and inspiring was uplifting to me and very therapeutic. Prayer and gospel music also helped me in the transformation of my mindset.

I have since became a best-selling author and started the ‘Live on Purpose Movement’ community. It is a group of like-minded people who empower, inspire, share and connect with other women from all walks of life, uniting women to live their true purpose. We also serve the community and pay it forward to those who are less fortunate by donating clothing, care packages, makeovers, food, etc.

We gather quarterly as a group to socialize, network, dine and Live On Purpose. Writing has prepared me for my purpose, which is to make connections from the heart and help inspire and give hope to others. The journey was long and hard, but the transformation was well worth it. I continue to share my gifts with the world because I never know whose life I am impacting.

This transformation would not have taken place if I remained in the darkness that I was in. There is a quote that says, “when prayer becomes a habit, success becomes a lifestyle”. Prayer definitely changed things for me. My grief, loss and hopelessness led to a new-found passion and lifestyle.

I am the first one to admit the holidays and the thought of a new year are difficult for me and bring so many memories of my parents. They are missed dearly. Holidays are tough for many and hard to come to terms with. How do you cope with loss, especially when the new year means moving on and leaving the past behind? How do you keep living, smiling, and navigating through these seasons? Everyone’s grief is different and unique to them. You are allowed to feel the full force of the pain. Avoiding the pain does nothing except extend the suffering or create further issues, both physically and psychologically.

Here are a few tips I would suggest:

-Talk with others. A loss discussed is a grief diminished. Don’t expect answers, just trust the process.

-Find a creative outlet. It helps if it can be something you do that’s in honor of the loved one you lost. Creative outlets are ideal for the channeling of emotions and can help you process your feelings and move through the stages of grief. Writing/journaling is one I used.

-Eat well and exercise. There is an abundance of benefits to good nutrition and exercise. A simple walk can change your attitude and outlook. Eating well can minimize that sluggish feeling.

-Keep up a routine. Washing, shaving, brushing your teeth, grocery shopping. It can be tough to do all this stuff because it all seems so inconsequential in the face of mortality, but learn to take pleasure in the simple rituals of life.

-Avoid making decisions. Now is not the right time to buy a home, quitting your job or finding a new partner.

Where do you go from here? If you feel you, or someone close to you, are affected by trouble coping, depression, etc., you might find help from one of the grief centers and care providers in your local area. If there aren’t any local grief groups, find online support.

What you should take away from grieving is that it is also responsible for bringing people together and helping communities bond. Grief can destroy us, but it also can be a building block to living a truly content life.

Choose to learn from your experiences and to use them as a positive motivation. Spend the holidays with friends and loved ones making more memories that last a lifetime. Remember, it’s okay to be happy. Don’t feel guilty for being happy. Make the most of your life so that those who must grieve for you when you pass can feel good knowing that you passed away having lived your life to the fullest. That’s the way I continue to go about my life. May 2018 be a year where you Live on Purpose every day.

 

 

 

 

 

Ruby Mabry is a Best Selling Author, CEO of mental health facilities, thought leader and coach. She is the Founder of Live on Purpose Movement where she unites, inspires and empowers women to live their true purpose in life and in business. In her spare time, she loves to give back, because she is a firm believer that you haven’t learned how to live until you learn how to give.

Website: www.LiveOnPurposeMastermind.com

Facebook: Author Ruby Mabry

Instagram: @AuthorRubyMabry

Email: AuthorRubyMabry@gmail.com

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