How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

Imagine that you are Tom Sawyer, able to attend your own funeral. What would you hope to see and hear from those in attendance? How would you want to be remembered?

There are at least two different reasons to think about this question.

The first is to help others that survive you after your death. If you think about — and write down in detail — what happens after you die, you can save your loved ones a lot if guesswork. Everything from what to display at your memorial service to your final resting place, from DNR orders to organ donation, you can outline your wishes.

For grieving loved ones, that effort could be very comforting. Not only would your wishes help to relieve a source of potential stress, but it is almost a way of communicating after you are gone. Your request might seem like a voice from beyond, comforting your loved ones as they deal with emotional turmoil.

Even more important, however, is how thinking about how you will be remembered will help you. Thoughts of what you hope will live on after you can help to set your priorities while you are still alive.

For example, if you want people to think of you as generous, the best way to make that happen is to increase your generosity. If you want to be remembered for being a good parent, you may want to spend more time with your children and less time at work. If you hope that you are thought of as well-read, you can achieve that by committing to reading more.

In that way, what lives on after you can be seen as a mission statement for while you are alive. Your hoped-for future self can serve as an aspiration for the current you.

Have you given any thought to what will happen after you die? Do you know if you will be buried or cremated? Can you imagine which pictures and which mementos you want people to see at your memorial service? Is there something you want to be said in eulogy? And how might the answers to these questions impact what you do today, or in the days and years ahead?

Related questions: What would you say to people in the future? Should we be concerned with legacy? Why are people afraid of death? How do you plan for the future? Burial or cremation?

 

What Can You Learn From Loss?

We all have loss in our lives. While we can’t control that loss, we can control how we react to it. We can learn from loss.

It is important to learn from our experiences throughout our lives. After all, the only way to grow and improve, is to learn from what happens to you. While it is possible to learn from your successes and from your wins, the opportunity for self-improvement is much greater from your failures and from your losses.

When you lose someone close to you, or someone who meant a lot to you, the initial inclination is to be sad. That makes sense. The person is no longer around to make you laugh. Or to inspire you. Or simply to sit and talk with.

However, there is a better way to honor their memory. When the person was alive, you learned from them. If you make a list — an actual, enumerated list of the lessons you learned from talking with, listening to, or watching them, it will help you feel gratitude that they were in your life.

That’s one type of learning. In addition, dealing with loss can help you learn about yourself. How do you react to sadness? How do you process grief? How do you commiserate with others?

Loss is a great time for introspection. What can you learn from loss?

Related questions: How do you deal with loss? When is is useful to fail? Why are people afraid of death?

Would You Want To Know The Day You Will Die?

Knowing when you will die would allow you the opportunity to prepare, physically, emotionally, and socially. However, knowing could be paralyzing as well. Would you choose to know, if you could?

Share why if you wish.