Death, Dying, and Being Remembered

Death, Dying, and Being Remembered

Death is inevitable, so after we’re gone what is left? Our legacy. If I were to be gone tomorrow I wouldn’t necessarily want to be remembered by everyone like Micheal Jackson or Elvis Presley. I would want to be remembered by a select few people who really knew and loved me. I would want to be remembered for how hard I tried to include/be kind to everyone, even though I failed at times. I would want to be remembered for my ability to walk into a room and make friends, my skills as a leader, and my happy personality. However, it is not just the typical things I want to be remembered for. I’d also like to be remembered for my quirks. The things that  one would only know if they knew me very well, for example, my LOVE of cats, the fact that I have over 120 tubes of lipstick, and that if I could dress like I was from the 1920’s through 1950’s everyday, I would. If I am fortunate enough to grow old I would also  like to be remembered for the positive things I accomplished throughout my career. The things I did to improve the lives of others. As someone who is considering pursuing a career social work this could very well be a reality. Being remembered for the life I lived as well as the lives I touch is what I hope to be remembered for after I die.

What legacy do you hope to leave behind? Why?

Do you hope to be remembered by many as the rich and famous are, or a select few? Why or why not?

Is there anything very specific you hope to be remembered for? If so what is it? Why?

Is there anything you would want only your family to know after you die?

How does your legacy differ from the one I hope to leave?



9 thoughts on “Death, Dying, and Being Remembered

  1. The legacy I hope to leave behind is certainly underdeveloped at this point. At a time when so much about my values, philosophies, and passions are being molded, it’s hard to narrow down exactly what it is I desire to be remembered for. There are a couple of valuable practices that I know I’d like to pass on to future generations: service to others as form of self-fulfillment, self-compassion, embracing each day as if it were your last, respecting the natural world and the other plants and animals we share it with, putting time and effort into creating and maintaining relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners, and pursuing well-being with healthy habits–physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. I definitely share Sam’s desire to be remembered by a select group of people who know and love me intimately, as well as her desire to have a fulfilling career in social work by working each day to improve the lives of others. In regards to wealth and fame, I really have no desire to be famous, and I would certainly like to have access to wealth in order to feel secure and happy, but being extravagantly rich is not a priority of mine either. If I were to die tomorrow, I would want my family and friends to know how much I love them, thank them for everything they’ve done for me, and share with them that I hope they’ll cherish and celebrate the experiences we’ve shared.

  2. I’m the type of person that never wants the spotlight. I feel really uncomfortable when I am the center of attention, even if its for a good thing. So you can imagine how little I have thought about how people will think about me after I am gone. I don’t do anything because I want people to acknowledge it or have it left behind as my legacy. I do things either because it makes me happy, or it can benefit someone else, not because it will benefit my image. I guess if I had to choose something, I would want people to remember my humility, selflessness, and consideration of others (even typing this makes me feel awkward). But I don’t think I NEED to be remembered for anything. Like you said, I don’t find it necessary to be remembered by many people, as long as I loved my family and friends as hard as I could and they know that. I am not the best at showing affection (I suck at it) but I would want the people that I knew to know that when I loved, I loved hard. But to be honest, does any of this really matter? Eventually everyone who ever knew me will be gone and there will be know one left to remember any of us (I feel like that was from the Fault in Our Stars but I can’t remember). I think that may be why creating a legacy doesn’t matter to me so much. What matters is that I do everything I possibly can for others and love as hard as I possibly can now while it matters, not so that people could remember that I did it, if that makes sense. So, I guess I don’t want to die with the thought that I left behind a legacy but with the thought that I was happy with myself.

  3. I hope to leave behind the legacy of silently make a difference. I don’t want to be known as someone who boasts about their success and cowers at their failure. I want to make a difference without people knowing. I don’t enjoy being the center of attention. I believe that you are the better person if you can show off what you have done if you do it humbly with minimal attention. When it comes to how many people I want to be remembered by I think that quality trumps quantity. I believe it counts more if you’re remembered by the ones that really do care about you, than being remembered by many that won’t care when you’re gone. If there was one specific thing I would want to be remembered for, I would want to be remembered for caring for others before myself. I think this way of life should be part of the world. Imagine if everyone cared for others over themselves, you feel good by caring for others while others will care for you. So why worry about yourself if people took care of you as well you know? I don’t think there would be anything I would want my family to know after I die. There’s nothing in life that needs to wait to tell anyone until after you die. Life is too short to be holding things like that in. Deal with it in life so you can die truly happy. But all in all, I think that towards my death I want to be able to say I have fulfilled my life’s purpose. I want to believe I have done the best for my family, even if it doesn’t mean I have lots of wealth. I think my family should be put over my personal legacy. It shouldn’t be about me when I die, it should be about how I am helping society become a better one by making the silent difference.

  4. I love your aspiration to be remembered by the select few people in your life who held a special place in your heart- I think this is very wise and reflects on the good heart that you have. I definitely agree that I would want to be remembered by the lives who I touched and who touched me. I think the want to be famous and known worldwide can sometimes cause people to focus on the wrong things in life. Since our universe is so large, it’s easy to sometimes feel like our daily thoughts and actions don’t matter. However, I think we sometimes miss how incredible and special life is on the small scale. Things like giving someone a hug when they’ve had a long day, calling your mother, or making someone else laugh really hard are small actions that make a huge difference in the world. It may not feel like it when we are doing them, but it truly is the small things that we go out of our way to do for others that make us who we are.

  5. Legacy has always been a difficult topic for me since I don’t fully understand how I want to be remembered. I’ve always had the aspirations to be known and remembered by people. But, within that feeling lies the issue. We as human beings will more readily remember the bad than the good and this idea has led me away from the feeling of wanting to be remembered. But the legacy that I hope to leave behind is one of kindness and helpfulness. I want my legacy to be that of a person who was successful and due to that, could help various others and help them to do the same and become successful themselves. I notice that my legacy is a bit centered around my own success but that is a nice goal to have within one’s own life.

  6. I do agree with you that I want the people who loved and cared about me to remember me for who I was. I just want to be remembered as a kind and loving person who helped people and brought a smile to their faces. I don’t want the first thing people think to be negative but positive. I want to be missed. I haven’t really thought about my legacy, but as long as I was able to make a positive impact, I think I have lived my life successfully.

  7. I don’t think much of the legacy I will leave behind, but whether or not I do, there will still be one. I hope to leave behind a legacy of caring for my fellow man and selflessness. I could care less about bequeathing worldly items to the people in my life, for those things are temporary. What will remain are the people I touched, and the people those people touched, and so on. I agree with you and also wish to be remembered by the people closest to me, because their experiences with me will far outweigh those of everyone else. I know that I will make mistakes throughout my life, but I will always be remembered for doing the best I could, and never giving up. If there was one quality I would like to be remembered for, it would be humility. I never seek anything in return for helping someone, and seek no public recognition for my good deeds because I believe it defeats the purpose. As of now, I’m going to live life to the fullest, one moment at a time, and through doing that, my legacy will build itself.

  8. I have never been one that longs to be rich or famous. I think that it would be nice to make a considerable amount of money, but I have never seen that as necessary to live a full life. When I die I really only care about how I am remembered by a small amount of people. I hope that someday if i continue into medicine or whatever path i pursue, that I can make a lasting impact on the people that I was able to help and the people I care about. I also hope that someday I can make a meaningful contribution to the field that I am in and have done everything that I could to the best of my ability. One thing that I am worried about is dying with regrets, whether it be not saying something to someone I cared about, failing to do something that was important to me, etc.

  9. Excellent post Sam! Personally, I am conflicted on what I want my legacy to be, as I, like many others, understand the appeal of leaving a lasting legacy of power and wealth, that my family will benefit from and continue long after. Yet there is more to life than attaining power, and to first achieve greatness, one must achieve goodness, of the morality and intellect. Hence, it is not as important to me that many people remember me after I die, but that I leave an impression of compassion, service, and honor that can better the lives of those who knew me. Whether power and game come with it is simply a benefit.

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