Friday, 24 July 2015

Legacies

There was an unusual obituary in last weekends paper. It was funny, memorable, honest and a great tribute to a very much loved lady who died at 94 and had many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to mourn her loss. It created a stir on social media and as a result, an article about it was written a couple of days later. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/07/20/obituary-for-toronto-woman-94-lights-up-social-media.html. Instead of simply mourning her loss and elevating her to the status of saint with this obituary, as most obits do, her family celebrated her life and acknowledged both her faults and her humanity. It was indeed a lovely tribute.

And it got me thinking about legacies and what we leave behind. I think as we go through life most people don't put great pains into trying to figure out how they can leave a lasting legacy behind for their families. More often people seem to think in terms of money or possessions rather than the qualities they want to be remembered for. I wonder how many people go through life wanting to leave behind a better world when they are gone. And how many never think in terms of how they will be remembered.

This whole topic reminds me of the poem called 'The Dash' by Linda Ellis  - (the line between one's birth and death on their tombstone) "... For that dash represents all that they spent alive on earth. And now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth. For it matters not, how much we own, the cars...the house...the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash..." (The full poem can be found at http://www.linda-ellis.com/the-dash-the-dash-poem-by-linda-ellis-.html).

One poem says it all so well - in our fast paced materialistic world, sometimes we need to be reminded that life is not about possessions - its about relationships and people. A lasting legacy isn't about getting your name on a wall that strangers can read, its about the memories you leave your family with and 'how you spend your dash'. 





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