My daughter works for a company that manages senior care communities throughout the western United States. I was talking with her a while back, and the subject came up of what happens when someone dies in the community, especially if the family or next of kin are far away. It turns out that things happen pretty quickly. The funeral arrangements are discussed with the family, along with the wishes of the deceased for burial or cremation.
If the family is unable to handle the affairs quickly, a company that specializes in estate sales is called to sell, donate and move all items in the room. These companies specialize in comforting the next of kin, by collecting special items, such as photos, albums, and small memorabilia from the room and putting them in a deluxe silver box. This box is then delivered to the family.
Your whole life in a silver box.
When I first heard this, I thought that that sounded pretty cool. A company that gets rid of the junk and organizes all the important treasures in your life into one beautiful box.
But then I thought about it…
If I live 70, 80 or 90 years and everything in my life is whittled down to a small box that will sit on someone’s shelf, I would feel cheated. Surely my life would mean more than that.
But that is what happens day after day all around the world. A funeral is given, people say their last respects, and everything else is dealt with. What is left is passed on to the family. The important stuff put in a box.
Memories slowly fade, and the box gathers dust.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Life In a Silver Box
For some reason, this whole concept made me upset. I’ve always been an outside the box kind of person. The thought of everything being so neat and clean and so final just didn’t sit well with me.
I don’t want my life to sit on the shelf forever and ever.
Then something occurred to me. Some people have been able to have an impact long after they are dead. It might be a book they have written, a movie they made, or a quote that lives forever in the minds of others.
Consider someone like Stephen Covey. Now that he has passed away, his book, The Seven Habits, still resonates with me, and I follow many of the concepts. Ideas live on.
I was listening to Frank Sinatra on Pandora earlier today. Ol’ blue eyes is still here with his orchestra, and his words and melodies still resonate. His music plays on.
I was looking at my Pinterest page and a simple quote caught my eye. Martin Luther King’s famous words, I Have a Dream, are stronger now than ever before. His words still motivate…
This all brought me to the realization, that we all need to create things that don’t fit neatly in a box. We need to capture them and pass them on.
It might be a poem
It might be a business
It might be a song that was sung.
We need to capture things that will truly…
Live on into eternity, enrich others, outlive our lives and create a lasting legacy.