Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Franklin’s wisdom and humor is spot on – but there are actually a number of different ways we can leave a legacy. For most of us, our legacy won’t be captured in literature or art or preserved on film. For the everyday person, like you and I, our legacy will mostly be the impressions we made on people, the lessons we taught others, and the memories we created with our friends and family.
The idea of leaving a legacy is as old as antiquity. For thousands of years, people have been recording family and cultural stories to pass down from one generation to another. One example would be the ancient Egyptians using hieroglyphics to tell stories of their Pharaohs and gods. We all have an innate desire to leave a mark on the world, to not be forgotten, and to leave a legacy for the people who will come after us.
We see this desire expressed all the time in our work at Cypress Lawn. Families come to us when it’s time to lay their loved ones to rest, and it’s important to them to honor their life and tell the story of who they were through their funeral service and final memorialization.
What more and more people are coming to realize is the power they can gain to tell their own story through making prearrangements. There are a number of reasons why so many people choose to preplan, which we plan on talking about from time to time here on this blog. What always inspires me most though is how people use preplanning to begin building, or continue, their earthly legacy.
Here are just several ways you can express who you were and the mark you left on the earth in your prearrangements:
- Perhaps you’ve chosen a different spiritual path than your family. They may not be aware of all your traditions or values. By preplanning, you can ensure your faith, culture, and spirituality are expressed in the kind of burial and funeral service you have.
- Are you passionate about protecting the environment? Then you can choose to have a green burial, choosing only materials and methods that coincide with your views on conservation.
- Simplicity and affordability might be important values to you. Prepaying for your arrangements is one great way to further ensure that any financial legacy you leave is used the way you see fit.
- Does the idea of a conventional funeral feel stifling to you? Plan something creative and original – the kind of service YOU would want to attend. On the other hand, if you’re a very traditional person, we’ll make sure funeral etiquette is observed and everything is as you would have wanted it.
- For the artist or musician, select your favorite art pieces to be displayed or music to be played during your visitation.
- We are used to people speaking of the deceased at their funeral service. Imagine if you could write letters to be read at your farewell for members of your family or close friends? What a wonderful, meaningful moment that would be for all in attendance.
The list could go on and on, and the possibilities for the personalization of your services are nearly endless at Cypress Lawn. I want to invite you to connect with our team today, or you can always begin the planning process online. We will help you create the final tribute that tells the world how you want to be remembered.