How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone? Or perhaps, the more important question is, how do you want the people you leave behind to feel about you?

What if you could be a comfort to them even after you’re gone? Or lessen their pain from losing you? Or help to begin the healing by giving them a reason to smile… or better yet, laugh? What if you could leave behind memories your loved ones could cherish? What a remarkable legacy that would be.

What Makes A Legacy

Your legacy. Heavy stuff. Could be your magnus opus (look it up). A monument. A street named after you. A scholarship you set up. A simple scrapbook of your journey through life. A collection of odds and ends that mean something to you. Could even be flesh and blood – like your kids and grandkids. Grandiose or simple – anything can be part of your legacy.

So if you actively want to leave something behind for posterity, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make a videotape diary
  • Write letters to your loved ones
  • Make audio recordings of your fondest memories, your thoughts, a favorite poem, a joke or anything else you’d like to share with your loved ones
  • Compile articles from publications, commentaries, selected fiction to reflect the values and philosophy of Life you lived up to
  • Make a photo album, scrapbook or memory box with pictures and other items that have special meaning to you
  • A wish list for what you’d like for your loved ones
  • Create a piece of artwork that reflects you and your life
  • If it is within your means, set up a trust or scholarship fund in your name for needy, deserving youngsters – your next-of-kin or legal counsel can help with this
  • Have kids (but only if you really want them!)

Why bother with a legacy?

Good question. Why, indeed. It is not for your sake that you do this. Once you’re gone, you’re gone. But the people you’ve left behind will long carry you in their memories. What you choose to leave behind is for them. It is for their grief. For their healing. For their comfort. It may even be for people you’ve never met – a child who receives an education because of you, or a grandchild you will never know. Your legacy is for the living. That’s why.

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