The loss of a loved one is one of the hardest things in the world to deal with. For Fabian, it was the end of life. He shares his story of his journey through a painful grief and his healing of a broken heart.
His battle in finding his true meaning in life began as an infant.
“I remember crawling in a corner afraid to cry for fear that my mom would come back and hit me some more. I would just stay in the corner, trying to figure out what I did wrong so that I would know what to do to make her happy. Nothing worked, it seemed that no matter how hard I tried, it upset her more.
It came to a point where the beatings got so bad, that the neighbors could hear Fabian screaming in agony and called the authorities. He was removed from that environment and placed in an orphanage at eight years old. After two years of fighting a long battle, his aunt was appointed full custody of Fabian. She provided for him, attended to him with her affectionate, loving hugs and warm smile. She worked hard to ensure that Fabian went to school and continued his studies. She became the world to him.
“She filled the emptiness I had inside of not feeling worthy of someone’s love. She helped me allow myself to open my heart and feel her love for me.”
When he was eighteen years old, Fabian’s mom (his aunt) had to undergo surgery. Unfortunately, there were many complications and she died on the operating table. Fabian felt his whole world come crushing down around him. The one and only person who made him feel worthy of love, had been taken away from him. He no longer felt a purpose in life. He stopped going to school, started drinking and taking drugs. At some point, he could not handle waking up every morning having to face life. His mom was gone! The anger, the hurt was too painful, he wanted his mom back so much.
One night at a friend’s party, Fabian decided, “that was it!” He was going to be with his mom again. He went to the bathroom, took everything in the medicine cabinet and drank it down with an overdose of alcohol. He become unconscious and when his friends were not able to wake him up, they immediately called the paramedics.
Fabian woke up in the hospital after having his stomach pumped. He was angry, frustrated and yelled at doctors,
“Why am I still alive? I want to die! I want to be with my mom, you have no right to keep me here if I don’t want to be here!”
Fabian was in the hospital for two months being treated as a suicidal patient. He didn’t care about anything the doctors and psychiatrists were telling him. One of doctors gave him a book, a notebook and pen. He told Fabian that it was something for him to do when he was alone. Fabian thought, “I will write everything I feel, maybe they will understand.”
Through his writing, Fabian began releasing his anger and hatred. He reflected on his emotions and started to realize that they were a build up from not having completely let go of his childhood and feeling he was being punished with his mom’s death. He began meditating and started to feel his mom’s presence looking over him. He imagined her watching him and seeing what he had become. He remembered everything she taught him about love. She had sacrificed so much for him to have a better life. This made Fabian stop and think, “Is this really what my mother would want from me?”
He realized that he had two paths he could take in life. He could choose to stay angry at the world for the pain he was feeling or he could choose a path where he could help others. He began talking to his mom.
“You have always believed in me, showed me that I am worth so much in this world. I want to find out how. I think that if I show people the same love you showed me, I will find it.”
Fabian spend a lot of time alone meditating and writing to completely let go of the pain, let go of his fears and insecurities to receive love from others. One person came in his life with an ability to love him unconditionally, his mom. Although she was no longer with him, that love did not die along with her. It was possible to love again.
“For me, it meant that I had to return that love to others to find my true meaning in life.”
One day, as Fabian was going for his notebook, he pulled out the book that the doctor had left for him. As he started reading a few passages, he came across one in particular that inspired him towards his path. A poem by Jorge Luis Borges.
He began to see his pain as an opportunity to show others that no matter our sufferings and how much we feel that life is unfair, they will make us grow and give us a new life worth living. After the two months, Fabian felt reborn again. He wanted to show his mother that he could be the person she always thought of him to be, the person that she was so proud of.
“With every goodbye, you learn”- Jorge Luis Borges
He decided to go to university and study medicine. He wanted to find his purpose by helping people deal with their pain and suffering. After two years, he had his paramedic degree and joined the Red Cross.
Fabian heard of the situation in some parts of Mexico near the border. The people there were in constant need of medicine, medical aid, food, education for the kids and shelter. His mind was made up, he was going to Mexico with the Red Cross to help these families.
Fabian had never traveled before and knew nothing about the challenges he would face. All he knew was Argentina, studying and working. He was ready to face the unknown.
“I had just dealt with my worst nightmare of losing my mom. Confronting it helped me refine my character and gave me courage to explore outside myself and discover my full power within.”
He arrived in Mexico where he stayed with a family that was in need. These people had been labeled as “peasants” and put aside by the people in the big cities. In talking to them, Fabian learned that they had become accustomed to believe that they were nothing. Fabian felt differently and wanted to show them that they were not “animals” and had a lot to offer.
He became interested and got involved in how they lived and everything they did on day to day basis. They were the happiest people Fabian had ever met. These people had nothing, yet, they were able to enjoy every moment they were given, and celebrated each new day for being alive. The little that they had, they offered to Fabian.
“They were willing to give what they had, although it was not much, it was a lot more than anybody has ever give me.”
Fabian remembers playing soccer with the children. Just holding the soccer ball in their hands was like they had won the world cup.
“Their laughter, their excitement, the glow in their eyes took me to another dimension. The more time I spend with them, the more I learned how to appreciate every moment and be happy with the little things. I always thought that in life the things you own is what defines the person you are. It is not true! It is the little things that make a person who they are.
Since the day I got out of the hospital, I wanted to accomplish something with my life for my mother. Living with this family made me realize that I had to do it for myself. They gave me strength and courage to want to keep learning and growing into the person I want to be. I learned to let go of fear, anger and the material values I had build in my mind. It was a life changing experience to learn that happiness can only come when you discover your true value and by expressing who you are. That day when I decided to end my life, I could have never imagined how much my life would change. I was given a reason to live and experience the joy and passion of loving myself and knowing that I can make a difference. I had to make that choice and believe it was possible.
We live by society’s standards, with the need to be accepted by others but, we have to be able to live with ourselves and who we are. If there is something in your life that you feel you would change, DO IT!!! Do not put it off. The day I bought that ticket to Mexico, changed my life. The day you start being true to yourself, you will really start to live your life.
I have lived something I never thought possible. I hope to make people realized how enriching your life becomes when you humble yourself in your beliefs and actions… NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. Just DO IT! Tomorrow will never come.
Watch the interview with Fabian Patterson on YouTube.
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