by Cindia Carrere
Putting the FUN in Funeral
“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.”
Many of us are in the sandwich generation, that unenviable position of being responsible for both children and aging parents. Or being squeezed between taking care of business AND your kids, aging parents, or grandkids.
Whatever your situation, you’re probably familiar with the struggle because It. Is. Real!
It’s so easy for you to get lost in all the juggling, the doing, the upkeep. It can be overwhelming with so much to do in so little time and all the pressures of everyone else’s needs, wants, and demands. It’s exhausting to smile on the outside while squashing down the resentment on the inside.
Aaaaaaaaaahhh! Growl, hiss, swear, sigh. . . .
Looking to the future
And part of
this rock-and-a-hard-place sandwich includes thinking about the future. Is
there enough money for your children’s education? How about long-term health
care for your parents? Will there be anything left for you to inherit or to
leave to your children?
And so we turn our attention to the idea of legacy and inheritance.
shown that humans are biologically wired to share. Even the most generous and
altruistic people give to others because it makes them feel good. Listed below
are some of the results from studies about generosity.
Sharing and serving others have been known to increase:
- Wealth (“Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy
and lose everything.”
- Meaning in our lives
- The triggers of happiness-related brain changes
- Your odds of following through
- A positive shift in mood
- Personal growth
- The warm and fuzzies
- Activating the part of the brain connected with contentment
- A sense of belonging
- Connection with friends and community
- The links between helping others and life expectancy
- Empathy, understanding, and a different perspective
- Health benefits
Doing more for others also helps you do more for yourself, reduces isolation, stress and blood pressure.
Giving AND Receiving
It’s reassuring to know there can be delicious side effects from all the giving. However, it’s important that you’re not giving from an empty cup. Your vessel needs to be refilled and refreshed. So inheritance and legacy is about both giving AND receiving.
There are many ways to leave a legacy, including good old fashioned campsite philosophy — that of leaving your space in a better condition than you found it. Your space could be your home, neighborhood, community, city, state, country, business, family patterns and dynamics, health, income. . . .
mark you’re going to leave behind when you’re gone? What impact will you have
made in your world?
Imagining a world without you in it, or picturing your funeral isn’t on the top of most people’s list. But, as they say, death is one of the two inevitables.
To make the
most of your legacy and what impressions you’re going to leave behind in the
hearts of those you know, take a few moments for a little introspection.
own eulogy, the speech you’d be happy to have read at your funeral/celebration
of life. This exercise is not meant to be factual, but aspirational. What would
you like people to say about you, your accomplishments, and the legacy you’ve
left behind? Throw it all in there, even if from where you’re sitting it
doesn’t seem remotely possible.
detail, whim, fancy, and secret longing that you’d want people to acknowledge
about you. Compliment the heckoutta yourself and fill the speech with
outrageous travels, far-fetched anecdotes, and generous outpourings of your
Erase the guilt,
let go the shame, imagine the very very very best version of yourself that you
can come up with and then flesh out those details. Make them real and make ‘em
sing. Describe the richness of your life that will have your mourners crying in
the aisles, laughing in fits, missing you like crazy, and feeling honored they
got to meet you.
And when you’ve
written your eulogy, use it to craft the next chapter of your life. What will
you nurture in yourself, and in your life, beginning now to have that
particular ending later?
Take control of the narrative, write your own story, and join the Living Vision Board and use the perfect blend of science and spirituality to make your imprint on the next generation, leaving behind a powerful and loving legacy.