It's interesting because the older I get, the more I grasp the reality of a funeral occasion. My Grandma Dot died when I was 10. At that age, I was sad of course, but it all seemed like a blur. With age and the attendance of more funerals, it started to become real, until it really hit home when my aunt died three years ago.
As I sat in the booth, I couldn't help, but let the gloss of tears randomly cascade down my face. Death, especially untimely, brings about many self-reflecting thoughts. Time. Family. Relationships. Dreams. We wake up each day telling ourselves, "I'll get to that later" "I'll do it tomorrow". Yet, we almost always push the thought "What if tomorrow doesn't come?" to the cobwebbed corner of our thoughts.
Initially, I took into account the worldly possessions I have. The places I've traveled to, the accomplishments I've achieved. Though, the longer I sat there, I realized absolutely no one was talking about those things. They talked about her loving spirit...her kindness, the generosity and sincerity of her personality, the deep connections they shared. And it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Yes, material possessions and accolades are awesome. You own a nice car and live in a bomb house? Yay for you, Glen Coco. Though, how do you treat people on a daily basis? How do you make people feel when you're around them? Do they feel loved and accepted?
What will people say about you when you're gone?
Because the "stuff" you have, is exactly that.
Stuff you can't take with you and people won't hold onto.
What they will hold onto is your compassion. The impact, inspiration, and support you've poured into them.
I honestly will say I could do better. Yes, I live to try to make people feel wonderful, but I could do more. There are relationships I could mend... bonds I could make deeper and stronger, but haven't because my priorities became so internally focused. I was fighting to simply survive my own insecurities and battles, I lost sight of what really matters.
Work, work, work, and never go out with friends or make time for phone calls. That's what it takes to be successful right? Hide yourself from public because you feel like you're weighed down by body insecurities and don't want to explain to people why you're unemployed? It's easier that way right?? Wrong.... What kind of life is that to live?
For so long, I've been driven by the misconception I won't make a lasting impact on people, unless I'm doing something worth talking about. Something BIG. However, Saturday was a wake up call and reminder.
I can leave behind a legacy every single day in small ways. We all can. It is completely okay to have big dreams and aspirations. We all have them. However, never forget, every interaction and human you touch leading up to those goals, also count. From the Janitor at your job, to your mother. No person should be off limits to how you leave behind a positive legacy. Simply because, your legacy is more than a piece of paper or a job title.
It is how you lived your life on this Earth.
Whether you're the richest person in the world or the poorest, at the end of the day, we all carry our souls and feelings with us daily. How we feel about the relationships and connections in our lives last far longer than physical items. No, our names might not be in a history textbook someday, but they will be in the personal history book of the lives we touched. The people who were able to know us and gain something beautiful from our presence in their life. We don't have complete control over what our future holds, but we definitely have control over how we make other people feel. So, while you're living...make each day count. Not only for yourself, but for others too.
Sending love and light always. <3