Leaving a Legacy
Reflections – Your Life
Have you ever wondered how your great-grandparents or their parents were like? Whether you were similar to them in many ways?
Just as you are curious, your grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even their offsprings would be interested to know who you really were. What features, traits or gifts did they inherit from you? That dimpled smile, the love for cooking, the ability to remember things well – did they get all this from you?
Each and every life is unique. The adventures you’ve had, the memories acquired, the experiences gained – these are the things that define you and make you the unique person you are. Your life is certainly one that should be shared and preserved for generations to come.
So, how would you like to be remembered? What would make your funeral and memorial service a special one for both your family and those whose lives you have touched?
This is a question that you may not be able to answer right away and may possibly need to sit back, reflect and contemplate on your life. Here are some tips to help you get started on what and how you would want the generations who come after you to know about you:
- What makes you or your life unique?
Perhaps you travelled to a very rural and obscure part of Asia in your younger days doing missionary work for the church and not many know this about you. Or that your greatest dream was to play the piano in front of a sell out crowd at Kallang Theatre. It can be something that neither your family or friends know about or something that future generations would find interesting
- What were you truly passionate about?
Maybe it’s whipping up a great meal for your loved ones. Or it could have been that English soccer club that you faithfully watched every single match of since young. Perhaps it could be your love for fishing. Whatever it may be, write down what your passions mean to you, how you got started and how important it is to you. You can also give detailed accounts of specific occurences or events. Provide examples such as the recipe for Popiah which you have perfected, or a scrap book of newspaper cuttings you have kept of that soccer team that you have been a fervent supporter of your whole life. Or photos of that 15kg Tuna you caught on one of your fishing excursions. Anything that would help others truly understand and appreciate your passions.
- What were your most important memories?
Whether they are happy, funny or sad, they are, afterall, these make up the unique life that you have lived. Whether its getting caught in a rain storm in Malacca while looking for that special Peranakan restaurant. Or that fateful evening when your husband went down on his knees and asked you to go register for a HDB with him. Or the time when your pet dog of 15 years passed on. Let others know what meant the most to you.
Preserving Your Memory
As family and loved ones gather to remember your life as well as to celebrate it, there are many ways to help them do so. Tokens of remembrance can be given out to those who attend your funeral service.
It can be as simple as a bookmark with your favourite bible verse or a printed card with a short note and special prayer from you to the recipient. But perhaps the most touching and memorable way is to prepare a self-eulogy, either in the form of a printed message distributed to all who attend your funeral or one that is read out during the memorial service.
A self-eulogy that shares with all present what made your life unique, what you were truly passionate about, the most important memories, and your gratitude and thanks to those who have touched your life and made a difference.
In whatever way that you would like to be remembered, begin planning today for a lasting tribute that will be remembered by family and friends, one that will be touch their hearts and be cherished by generations to come.