I think there's really only one purpose to life - and that is to grow in the image and likeness of Christ. That makes total sense to me. I think we have to grow spiritually before we're ready for Heaven. And I firmly believe that whatever growth we don't achieve here on earth, we will have to achieve before we inherit the Kingdom of God. That's where Purgatory comes in.
The thing about it is - God gives us the opportunity to grow in our every day lives and circumstances but most of the time, we don't see what's right before our eyes. We hate trials of any kind and view them as a curse. We hate loss of any kind - loss of a dream, loss of health, loss of a friend or lover, loss of a job, etc. And loss IS scary. But I've learned that God is faithful. He doesn't bring the trial but He will stay with us through the trial. And if we trust Him, He will bring us out on the other side - wiser and more steadfast in our faith.
My greatest fear I think is to die and only then recognize all the opportunities that I wasted on earth to grow in the image and likeness of Christ.