A legacy is most often thought of as a monetary inheritance which is passed on to the next generation. But a legacy is so much more. Our legacy is what and who we were, what we represented, our traits. Our legacy is what kindles memories in those that succeed us. A legacy isn’t necessarily crafted or created. It just develops over time. It is passed on. Let’s look at what a legacy is as you contemplate what your own personal legacy consists of.
Your Legacy is Yours
You may intend to pass on a good legacy, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. But whatever version, your legacy is uniquely yours. Even if you have no children, you pass on a legacy. Everyone you know in life is part of your legacy.
A legacy may include little nuances and quirks which bring laughter and joy in remembrance. We all have them, maybe a brusque laugh or a big welcoming smile, or the way unfiltered words spring from our mouths. These are all key parts of who we are. They are the most obvious representation of our humanness.
Perhaps like many, you are considered opinionated. Whether your loudness is accepted or rejected by others is incidental, it is part of your legacy. Our personality often reflects our values. If you are a good listener and interested in others and their lives, you touch lives. You touch lives, whether it lasts a minute or two or develops into a lifelong friendship. Our interest in others matters to them and leaves a lasting imprint.
Our families are part of our legacies. Our parents are inextricably tied to us. The way they were seen in the community of friends is part of us. They too had many friends and people remember them as being part of us.
And you may especially consider your children when thinking of leaving a legacy. What you share with them and the values you instill in them matter. You may remember the good and perhaps not-so-good that you experienced together as a family. The friends they made reflected not only on them, but on you as well. As a parent, you may have often felt proud of the friends they made. Of course, there are always mishaps along the way.
You may have watched as the boys became gentlemen and the girls became ladies, and their friends as well.
If you were delighted to see grandchildren arrive, you watched as they grew to become a part of your legacy. Those delightful grandchildren were not only yours to have and to hold but emissaries of who you are and were. Your legacy lives on in them as they create their own legacy.
Your Working Years
At work, you likely forged many ties. After years of working with others, whether as a frontline worker, executive, or owner, you established a legacy with many. That legacy was not only in what we did and how we did it but also in the relationships and friendships we struck up. What kind of workplace did we help to develop and thrive in? What kind of leader were we? These were often strong bonds that will never be forgotten by those we worked and shared life with.
Many of us played on sports teams and had teammates. Whether baseball, softball, football, basketball, soccer in Little League, Pop Warner football, CYO basketball, Jr Varsity, or Varsity HS sports, team life mattered to you and your teammates. Perhaps you even played in college and beyond. You forged close ties and friendships with teammates and often their parents too. Much was shared during those days, and they are all part of our legacy.
Your favorite sports teams for football, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, or hockey matter to your loved ones. They’ve seen you rooting for your team, attending games, talking about your teams. Team spirit is hardly a solo endeavor; it is always shared.
People remember your love of music, whether classical, jazz, country, western, or pop. Did you play guitar, piano, trumpet, or another instrument? Were you in a band, orchestra, marching band, rock band? Did you march in parades or sing? Music and song touch many and sometimes even on an emotional level.
Hobbies run the gamut, whether it be needlepoint, quilting, ham radio, antique cars, etc. And often, you shared these activities with others who cherish their memories with you.
Perhaps you sat in church services every week. You may have assisted in the many ministries the church offered. Your desire to live life to the fullest and adhere to God’s Word to love others and help the downtrodden is something to be proud of.
Sometimes our legacy may not seem to be much. However, memories of your life continue long after you are gone through others’ memories of shared moments together. Your legacy is in the way you treat others. In the future, others will remember your care or lack of care for others.
You’ve been down many paths in this life, struck up many relationships, and left your mark on the world. Your legacy is what you establish almost inadvertently but it will pass on. Your legacy is how others will remember you. If you fully lived your life, your headstone WILL NOT say “I Participated”. It will say “I Lived and Loved”.
We Can Help
Your legacy is everlasting and worth celebrating. At Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory, we understand the importance of creating beautiful and memorable events to celebrate life. Because we believe in the power of life to leave a meaningful legacy, we help loved ones come together during times of loss to remember. It’s crucial in the life of a family to celebrate the legacy of a loved one who passes on. Recognizing their impact in each life helps families grieve and move forward with hope.
You can also preplan your own services to help your family worry less about making decisions during a time of grief. Contact us and find out how we can help your family honor the legacy of a life.