Sarah Hines, founder of A Meaningful Death, writes about her journey of discovering how her life story is woven together with all experiences, positive and negative.
It’s a sign of your times when legacy beings to permeate your thoughts, your whispers with friends or deeper conversations with loved ones. It’s typically not something we like to talk about mostly because it feels out of our hands, almost philosophical. Perhaps, it is because the engaging moment for legacy to be activated is in dying and death. And, well, in my experience, pondering death is not an exercise most people enjoy doing. So, we push this idea of Legacy away and bury it a little deeper for another day.
But if you were to be brave enough to dig into what your legacy will be, it becomes very quickly, a mash-up of your life and all the stories that you have created with your time. Not all of which are pleasant to think about, in fact, the ones that come back the easiest are most likely the painful ones. While these stories bring up feelings of pain, grief, joy, and excitement, there is something that ties these stories together, there is a thread that is weaved through them that, if you pay close attention too, you will find.
You will begin to see these shimmering threads just past your false beliefs of “I’ve always had two left feet, I’ve never been very creative/outgoing/social/etc.” You will find these little moments in the most painful stores of abuse, the happiest moments of celebration and even in your stories about really nothing at all, these are the threads that becomes your signature.
And, this signature is your legacy.
The real problem is, that you just don’t know it and frankly, it’s going to take someone to pull this small thread to make sense of it all. Some examples of Legacy that I have seen in recent years have even been summed up in one word. Amazing really, how a whole life could be expressed as one word. And, while that word may have absolutely no meaning to someone on the outside, it is as deep as oceans to those that love you.
So now what? You’ve got a handle on what your legacy has been, do you just dust off and carry on? The beauty of doing this while you still have living to do is settled in the idea of intentionality. For example, my legacy is connection. Simple, not daunting at all and some may say, boring. But at the wonderful age of 43, I still have some living to do. So, how do I weave my own tapestry of connection? How do I set an intentional foundation that is rooted in my legacy? What does knowing this do or change?
It changes everything.
My Legacy lives in every conversation I have, unintentionally because that is just who I am. But when I find myself drowning in the depths of a conversation, I find footing in connection. When I lose patience, I look for connection. When I am faced with tough decisions, I choose connection. And the beauty of all of this is that I feel different. I have put my signature on something that I know to be true. It’s my conviction.
Your Legacy began the day you were born, your job is to discover it, so you can live it in every moment and that those that follow you can carry it with them.
If this has got you thinking about your own legacy, why not create a free plan on huunuu?
Sarah Hines is the founder of A Meaningful Death and has been focusing on cultivating, engaging with and igniting legacies. Her passion for living intentionally has led her to become immersed in the advocacy for community death care in Canada. Her work is rooted in storytelling that not only feeds legacy but also helps build foundations for living on purpose. “There is something about sitting with people at the end of their life that manifests not only a deeper understanding of the importance of living on purpose, but also the ways in which legacy ripples through in the lives of others."