You choose your legacy
When we attend a funeral, we are often witness to a tender commemoration of a remarkable life lived. We may feel part of a loving celebration of a good life spent seeking adventure, or surrounded by friends and family, or in the service of others. We can feel sad. We can feel hope. We can be inspired by the deceased’s life story to be a better human, to lead an extraordinary life. Which is not a bad legacy to leave behind.
Death, once it has come, is easy for the departed, but it can leave the remaining family and friends at a loss. A loss of new stories to be enjoyed. A loss of fresh memories to be made. A loss of all that made the departed, so unique. Let alone a financial loss.
Practically speaking, it is also a time when a lot of organising needs to happen. Costs need to be covered and ends need to be tied up. Unfortunately all this usually has to be carried out by those who are hardest hit by the passing.
Regarding insurance, there are 2 types which offer some solace at such a time. Funeral insurance covers the cost of the funeral to ease the load on those left behind. And Life insurance which covers some of the monthly costs of the family left behind - things like rent, school fees and food, which were covered by the deceased. Although both sensible concepts, both are a little hard to digest in a culture obsessed with life and youth.
As sure as one day we are born, one day we will pass on out of this world. Even so - we are a culture uncomfortable with this reality. ‘Nothing is certain but death and taxes’ so the somewhat fatalistic saying goes. We don’t really want to consider our own mortality. Not in a practical sense at least. Because we are busy living. We are striving, and planning, and acquiring, and enjoying.
But life is uncertain. We don’t know what the future holds. Maybe in this very uncertainty is where the living of a life really happens. Perhaps it is in taking chances, trying new things, being brave even when we don’t feel it. We only have the present to enjoy the lives we have. To hold our children, to connect with others, to help others, to notice the beauty of the world that surrounds us every day.
If we strive to live a life filled with good, then we can enjoy our time here with ease. Kindness breeds kindness. Generosity fills us with good feelings. Life can be simple. Don’t overspend. Don’t overcommit. Be kind. Be present. And enjoy.
Because the days race by and we only get one chance to fill those days with greatness.