What Will They Write on Your Tombstone?
A good friend and mentor died this past week. He was a very young 69-year-old and died in his sleep.
He lived in Minnesota and had taught for many years at a local college. He and his wife and family were pillars of the community and often opened their home to others for gatherings and good conversation.
Our lives crossed paths when he wanted to engage his cross-cultural communication students with New Americans who were still adjusting to this new life in a new country after suffering much trauma from their war-torn countries. We designed a program that worked for all of us, and, with the usual ups and down, we pulled off a wonderful learning experience for all involved. We took that collaborative spirit into another job and vision that I was given, and he was part of a strategic advisory group that guided this new vision into life.
But now he’s gone.
I started to think about the word, “legacy.” What would my life have been if the Universe had not let our paths cross? What would I have missed in laughter, deep thoughts, undivided attention, and challenging perspectives? He brought all of that to our working relationship (and—then--so did I).
His presence, wisdom, and coaching were foundational to my growth as a non-profit executive and as a person.
So, what will they write on my tombstone? That’s actually a good exercise on what matters to you: the impact you want to have on your part of the world.
I decided that I’d be happy if others said: “When Denise entered the room, she brought love and compassion with her. She paid attention to me and cared about me. She spoke with wisdom, strength and courage. She was a blessing.”
That’s my mission in this work and in my personal life. May I live up to the legacy I want to leave on this earth when I pass into the next life.
What will be your legacy?
Certified Body Code Practitioner, life coach and energy healer, former non-profit executive with years of experience in caring for and about people and their place in this world. Friend of refugees and immigrants, ally to the addiction recovery community--all with respect, love, and compassion for mutual healing.