I grew up going to Catholic school, and although I always felt a deep connection with God, there was a point in my life when I set aside all religious practices. Later, I became familiar with Unity teachings through my mother, Rev. Carmen Fe Figueroa, an ordained Unity minister leading Unity en Dominicana in the Dominican Republic.
But it was not until 2001 that I decided to end the spiritual limbo I was experiencing and renew my relationship with God. After reading Charles Fillmore’s book, Keep a True Lent, I began taking classes to become a licensed Unity teacher. During that time, I learned we are spiritual beings having a human experience and our lives have meaning and purpose.
Then on July 11, 2004, I received a call that is any mother’s worst nightmare: My youngest son Narayana had died in a car accident at the age of 26. Nothing prepares you for a loss of this magnitude. Mothers are not supposed to outlive their children. It was one of the darkest periods of my life. The pain was unbearable; my heart felt hollow.
I had always been very close to my three children and respected their individual personalities. Narayana had a fun-loving personality. He had numerous friends, was a great listener, and loved children. He always wanted to be of service, and he gave unconditionally. He also had a great spiritual connection with all life. His approach to life and commitment to living “in the now” amazed me. For some reason, he always knew that his time on earth would be short and often shared that conviction with me.
It had been 18 months since Narayana’s passing, when on January 23, 2006, I received yet another unimaginable call to tell me that my oldest son, Govinda, was dead at 28. Another car accident; another son gone.
Govinda was an introverted young man, but he lived his life with a great sense of purpose. He was a natural leader, very much in charge of his life. He conveyed an aura of freedom and self-assurance. A few years earlier he had decided to move to the United States, which was an example of his adventurous spirit. While pursuing the life of his dreams, his time on earth came to an end.
Who can recover from this? I asked myself. How am I supposed to continue living?
I cannot say it has been easy. You recover day by day, minute by minute, holding on to the belief that love is transcendent and life is eternal. Instead of feeding the pain with whys, I remembered the moments I shared and treasured with my sons, and I gave thanks for each precious moment.
After their deaths, I decided to honor them by being a channel of love. I was determined to start loving without boundaries or attachments: To love, not because there is a relationship through blood, but because I chose to establish a relationship through love.
That determination led me to start working with the youth in Unity en Dominicana. They welcomed me with open arms and became my children. Together we realized that in sacred service, we live on purpose. We are now a ministry of diverse young people who open every Sunday service by praising God through music and dance. My 25 new children bring great joy into my life.
It is through working with the youth and my new ministry, Unity: The Revealed Word, that I share the great philosophy of life that is Unity. Through Unity, I have established my life purpose.
I have been able to overcome the greatest challenge a mother can face through unconditional love, sacred service, and support from family and friends. Looking back, I can see that my two sons were soul mates with intertwined lives. I believe Govinda and Narayana are my greatest teachers: They taught me that love transcends all.