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In the Grief of Unexpected Loss, I Found My Life’s Purpose

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In 2009 my two-year-old daughter died, and my life changed forever.

My wife and I rushed Jenna to Children’s Memorial Hospital on Friday, May 29. She was having seizures. By Tuesday June 2, Jenna our firstborn, passed away from a virus called viral encephalitis.

I hadn’t realized it, but until that point, my life was a façade. I played the part people expected of me — devoted father; husband to the woman I love, who was two months pregnant with our second child Sydnie; successful businessman; Cubs fan. However, I had no purpose in life.

I will never forget the day I met Jenna for the first time. It was magic to hold her small, precious hand, to watch her draw her first breaths and to cry for the first time.

When Jenna died I no longer recognized the person I was. I sunk into a deep depression tinged with grief I could not shake, into darkness I could not understand. My world looked like the aftermath of a devastating wildfire — charred, bleak, and lifeless.

I questioned everything and found solace in nothing. I was in bad shape and in a state of quandary. I wondered how I could move forward in the face of such unimaginable pain and sorrow.

Eventually, I found a light.

I still think of her every day and there are times of intense stabbing sorrow and pain. I didn’t get over Jenna, I never will, but I started to move forward. I chose to continue living and not become a victim. I found that purpose is more significant than pain.

Purpose is your reason for living. It is what you are trying to do with your life or what you are trying to become.

How do you find it?

By believing that today is the first day of the rest of your life, and by not dwelling on your past or mistakes. By having lived life with no regrets.

How did I find my purpose? I started by asking a few questions:

  • How can I help people choose to be a higher version of themselves or help them identify their barriers?
  • What does it mean to have no barriers in my life?
  • How does it feel to be empowered and confident enough in whom I am today that I can do anything?

And the answer is: You become that person by planning and executing actions to achieve goals. You may only be able to take one step forward today, but you take it. And you keep going because you know life is full of surprises and you can handle that.

You also are completely aware that you are NOT the person who can accomplish your mission — today. Yet, you know it IS your mission, so you press on.

You recognize that it’s not the destination that matters, but the journey. That sounds cliché, but it’s true. To be fully alive is to be present—feeling the emotions, engaging with people around you, acknowledging the truth, sharing the experience, listening to others authentically — to embrace everything life has to offer.

This purpose is the foundation of my life and my work. It’s why I believe in every single person who works at Becker Logistics. When you build belief in people, they can do more than you think they can — maybe more than they think they can.

If you'd like to know more about Becker Logistics, check out our company website or message me. If working for a company like Becker sounds interesting to you, read more on our Careers Page.