Yesterday afternoon one of my best friends lost his father to early onset Alzheimer’s.
John was a tremendous man who touched the lives of so many people.
He epitomized the kind of person you wanted to be. Always smiling, unbelievably generous and personable, the understated life of the party. The one who stood back watching everyone else have a great time, but without his energy none of it would have been possible to begin with. He was never boastful or flashy, simply the calming life force you couldn’t help but be drawn to.
Losing him physically is a great loss; though because of his impact and legacy we haven’t lost him at all, nor will we ever lose him.
Physical death always brings with it a moment of reflection for those of us still in our human form. As I thought about all of the years I’ve known his being and laughed at the great memories we shared in between my tears, I started to inventory the foundation I’ve laid for my legacy:
- How do I describe the imprint my physical being is leaving on this world?
- How do I want to be remembered?
- How often am I living in alignment with what I want?
- How could I shift my thoughts and behaviors to more consistently live in such a way that reflects my desired legacy?
At the end of the day, none of us can control how others perceive us – now or at the time of our physical death. But if we set an intention, much like my friend’s dad, to live in a way that allows us to share in this human experience with love, compassion, empathy, and inclusion, we will have left this earth with an immeasurable impact that will never die.