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Handbook for Mortals : Finding Meaning

We each get our "brief time on stage," and then we are gone. Sometimes everything can seem so pointless. Why bother to live? Nothing is so deeply human as the search for meaning. Most of us seek life's meaning beyond the boundaries of our physical life. Many discover that finding meaning that transcends physical limits becomes important to them as they try to live fully despite serious illness. Such searching takes many forms. Some pursue meaning through their religious faith, some in family and friends, others in good works or the goodness of humanity, and others in nature. However you find meaning, your search for it is ordinarily one of the most important projects for the end of life.

When you have an illness that will eventually cause your death, a door closes on what had seemed a future of endless possibilities. Everything may seem beyond your reach to you. Things once taken for granted are now uncertain, and new and unfamiliar issues arise. While others go about their activities and the business of the world continues, the road you travel may suddenly seem unfamiliar, its signposts poorly marked. At this crossroads, you are likely to question issues you once felt were settled.

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