Three weeks ago a woman died of liver failure.
“I’m so sad,” her friend of forty-years admitted. “I’ve known her since sixth grade.”
“Of course you’re sad, Kara,” I reassured. “You’ve lost a lifelong friend.”
Kara’s hesitation told me there was more on her mind than mourning the death of her childhood friend.
“I’m not even sure how to say this,” Kara finally confessed, “but that’s not why I’m sad.”
Kara contemplated how to explain. Finally, she continued.
“I’m sad because, when we die, we should leave something positive behind for our children and Lynn didn’t do that.”
Kara wasn’t talking about material possessions.
Instead, she was saying that a piece of who we are, during our carnal existence, should resonate with those who knew us.
“Lynn left nothing of herself behind,” Kara went on. “The last years of her life were filled with anger and lies. She hurt her family and, no matter what they tried, they couldn’t rescue her from herself. In the end, Lynn was only a shell of the person I knew in grade school.”
I could hear the sorrow in Kara’s voice and my heart sank. Kara knew Lynn’s family well. They’d invited her into their lives and she’d witnessed their trials. In time, they confided their emptiness and disappointments to her.
Leaving a Legacy of Love – So Simple, Yet So Complicated
Isn’t our calling to live a life that echoes joy and laughter for those we left behind?
How sad for Lynn’s family – and for Lynn – that her legacy, in their minds, is void of these simple gifts.
I Want To Be Loved Like That (But First, I Have to Love Like That)
I started thinking about Ed’s father. At his memorial service, people lined up to tell side-splitting stories about him. It was the most laughter-filled funeral I’d ever attended, and it went on for hours. The funeral home finally had to put an end to it because it was time for them to lock up.
Is that too much to ask?
That we leave a legacy of laughter?
I want the sound of my name to cause people to smile and say, “She made me happy.”
It shouldn’t be hard, right?
Offer a shoulder to cry on … or a listening ear.
Promise to pray for the hurting (and actually follow through on it).
Simple stuff … or is it?
Life Gets in the Way of Leaving Behind a Good Life
Our jobs keep us too busy.
The list is endless.
We place false happiness in misguided ventures.
“This drink will make me feel better.”
“I’ll stop smoking tomorrow.”
“If I work this overtime, I’ll be able to buy that boat/get that promotion/get the recognition I deserve.”
We’ll “deal with” the kids/our parents/our neighbors tomorrow.
End the end, we leave an inheritance of self-indulgence, stress, or emotional emptiness for our children to carry forward.
Live Like Tomorrow is Your Funeral!
Three years ago, my daughter, Lou, said something that stuck with me.
“I try to live my life so that, if I die tomorrow, people don’t have to struggle to find something nice to say about me.”
She was twenty at the time. Her words projected wisdom, mingled with innocence.
It’s an interesting concept – to live in a manner that leads to happy story-tellers at your funeral.
While I don’t particularly advocate making choices, simply so people can speak well of your after you die, I’m passionate about this:
We are all created to MAKE a MARK on this world.
Not for Ourselves, but for Those We Leave Behind
God gave our loved ones to us. They are our gifts. When we live with integrity and joy, we radiate those things into their lives.
Let’s MAKE Our MARK! Let’s Leave a Legacy of Love (and Laughter)!
I love the YouTube video link below.
It’s a life-insurance commercial, but it’s powerful. Maybe you’ll think of “life insurance” in a new way!
Some names have been changed for confidentiality purposes