Fly with the Phoenix

Preserving a legacy
July 16, 2009, 3:19 am
Filed under: Family Transitions

I attended the funeral tonight for a friend’s father. Earl was a lovely, gentle man who lived to be 97 years old, which is quite an accomplishment. While the service was lovely and his eulogy touching, what struck me was how this one man touched the lives of many people, some of whom he’d never met, such as the Vietnam soldiers that were treated at the M.A.S.H units he helped to assemble and ship overseas. Even though he was home bound for a couple of years, when he was able to get to church, his genuine goodness and love for other people came through in a warm smile or strong handshake. I wish I could be a little bit more like Earl in my everyday living.

What I find interesting is how funerals seem to make us examine our lives and think about the legacy we will leave behind. Do you ever think about your legacy and how you want to be remembered? I think most of us would say they would like to leave this world being remembered as a kind person who touched many people and who had lots of friends. Beyond that, what do you think about? Should we consider the lives we’re leading and how that says so much about us? Earl lived a life of service, from time served during World War II to helping neighbors with fix-it projects as an 80-year-old. I know I could take a lesson in that.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in our survival, especially during these days. Yet taking the focus off ourselves, just for a moment, can mean helping someone who shares this planet with us, which is what we are called by God to do. I think Earl knew that, and in turn, God blessed him with more than 90 years on this Earth.

If you have recently lost someone you loved, consider honoring his or her legacy by serving others in your loved one’s name. It doesn’t have to be anything grand. Think of a gift or talent that you have and then find a need in your community. By working in service to honor your loved one, you may find moving through the stages of grief an easier journey. For folks whose loved one passed years ago, a service project in his or her honor helps you to keep the memories and stories alive to share with others inside and outside your circle.

My friend and her circle must feel blessed to have had Earl for so many years. May his legacy be a part of the community for many years to come.

Well done, thou good and faithful servant.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You can write, woman. Introspection is a scarce commodity in this hub-bub world of ours. Keep doing what you’re doing and it will inspire other people as well. Peace.

Comment by Chief

Thanks, Chief. I have a good mentor (vous)!

Comment by hopefultransitions

I like the idea of working in service to honor a loved one who is no longer with us. That gives me something to think about that I’m working on right now. Thanks for the suggestion; it’s a lovely one.

And thanks for visiting me at my blog.

All my best,

Comment by Jackie Dishner

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