Death is the ultimate outcome for everyone. Whether it is natural, accidental, criminal or on the last day… it is the absolute and undeniable truth for all. Doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, in a position of power or a subdued small part of a bigger wheel. That is our final destination.
Whether we admit or not we as humans do at times go through the motions of thinking about this. About when it will happen, wondering where we will be in our lives when it happens. Whether we would have done enough to not let our loved ones suffer if we go early. Especially those dependent on us. And somewhere in there creeps up the questions of how we will be remembered. What will our story be like when being told to the next generations or to friends or to the world. And most important of all .. what will be our story when it is being presented in the absolute and accurate way of it having developed to our maker, Allah.
We all want to be I am sure remembered. Anyone who says any differently is in all probability lying. Or is suffering from an extreme case of being an isolated individual. I would have peace in knowing that my life was loved and valued by the ones around me. And that I hold meaning enough to be remembered by them. Of course in a good and positive way. And at the same time not in a way which handicaps them from moving on with their life. But I would want to be remembered.
In all honesty the greatest thing for me would be to be able to leave a legacy behind. Now for me and my understanding, legacy isn’t necessary the inheritance of physical, materialistic and worldly possessions collected or achieved by you in your time. It isn’t just limited to an empire that you might have built. It might also be the person that you are. What you achieved and what qualities as a human being that you championed. And in one way or the other you pass them on to your kids. And in a way your kids become your legacy or the forbearers of carrying it forward.
My father passed away a couple of years ago. He wasn’t a powerful business owner. He wasn’t a politician. He wasn’t a media magnate and mogul. But he was wonderful individual. With wonderful qualities. He was a soldier (having served in the army for 32 years) all of his life even after retiring (in one way or the other). He was and is still remembered in a wonderful way. As a wonderful human being who was loved by those around him. And we his children carry that forward with us. We are responsible for carrying that ‘legacy’ of his forward. It is but natural for kids to get personality traits from their parents. Who we are constitutes of our upbringing, DNA and those who have influenced us other than our parents.
So in the end, when thinking or facing the question of ‘Death’, the inevitable, for me it boils down to what is to happen after me… and what kind of a memory of myself am I leaving this world with. What would be my legacy? Would it be in the person I was and the things that I achieved? Would it be through my children? Would be because maybe someday I become a public figure via being a philanthropist or a champion of social work? a corporate success story? family man? genius? etc. etc. etc. Many possibilities. But very important. Just makes one think that the life we have led was with some meaning. That it made a difference in some way to someone or life. We all need a legacy to leave behind.