For those of you who know our family, you know that we’ve lost three loved ones in recent years. The first was my beloved grandmother who lost her fight with cancer 3 years ago, a close cousin who died nine months later, and my father in-law who lost his battle with cancer last night. He was easily the most gentle, kind and loving man I have ever known. Not only will he be remembered, but lives were changed because he was here. The picture I chose is fuzzy and grainy, but it captures the essence of his spirit.
Obviously, these were huge losses for our family. With each of them I come closer to living slightly better. This is one of the things that death does for those it leaves behind. I will also probably never truly recover from the loss of my favorite little red-headed old lady. She meant the world to me and I try daily to live out the things she taught me with her simple wisdom. She made us feel special. This is what people say about her. This is what she left behind.
In our mourning over death, we should remember that life is about legacy. Legacy, as it turns out, is all about giving; and giving is all about love. What value have you given to the world that outlasts you? What enrichment, beauty, peace, joy, belief or love exist simply because you were here? If you can’t think of an answer readily, its probably because you’re playing life small and haven’t familiarized yourself with the growth that only comes from a perpetual cycle of discomfort, trial and failure.
The reality of life is that when you play it small, people forget about you. You become obsolete.
Try this for the next seven days. Do one thing each day that causes you to step out of your comfort zone. At the end of the seven days, look back and ask yourself what you learned about yourself and how stepping out of your comfort zone benefitted another person. Do this and see if it doesn’t change you at least a little.
A few people will say a few nice things about you at a funeral; but legacy happens when people remember you.