One of the hardest things in life is facing death.

Though it’s inevitable, death never seems right, does it? It never gets easier to handle the loss and it never seems like we’ve had enough time with the ones we love. Even more, the world doesn’t ever feel the same without that person in it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately. 

What kind of legacy are you leaving?

My husband just lost two friends to Covid-19. One was 67 with nine kids and the other, 31 and single. Then we just heard of our daughter’s boss losing his life at the age of 41 with four small children left behind. The horrific nature of their untimely deaths have shaken their families and friends to the core.

We’re all seeing that this dreaded virus is no respecter of persons. And each of us is being impacted by these tragedies in one way or another. These stories have brought back sad memories of losing my favorite aunt to cancer a few years ago.

She’d been struggling with cancer a year and a half before she took her last breath. And although she had fought hard in the last year, she said she knew it was her time to go. I saw her in the hospital a couple of weeks prior and I held her head to my chest as we both cried. The unspoken spoken. We both knew she was nearing the end of her journey here on earth.

This happened before coronavirus invaded our world, back when we could be near those we loved as they were facing death. And hard as it was to be there in the intensity, at least my aunt and I could say goodbye to each other while saying that we’d see each other again in heaven. That brought comfort to my soul.

Now my heart aches for the different realities that are being experienced this year as a result of the pandemic. And in this season of loss, the only thing we have left here on earth are the deposits our loved ones have left on the inside of us.

All of this has led me to ponder anew the importance of leaving a legacy. Of course, this isn’t a new concept to any of us, but for the sake of clarity, I love the way Marelisa Fabrega defines the term legacy: “It means putting a stamp on the future, and making a contribution to future generations. People want to leave a legacy because they want to feel that their life mattered.”

This leads me to honestly answer this question, and I invite you to as well:

Ask yourself: what kind of legacy am I leaving?

The reality is that though none of us will be around forever physically, we all leave a trail behind that leads the way for the next generation. As a dad to a daughter, you will be around forever in the deposit you leave in your daughter’s life.

I would encourage you to clarify anew today what exactly you want your daughter to hold inside herself as a gift from you for the rest of her life.

  • Finish this sentence below and then write it on a card that sits on your desk.
  • Take a picture of what you write and look at it daily on your phone.
  • Tell her what it is you want her to never forget about why you love her.

You never know when a day may be your last. Let today be the day you renew your focus to invest in your daughter’s life daily by choosing to intentionally deposit that which you want her to forever remember about you.

Be specific about how your love deposit will be expressed. And may the way you complete this sentence guide what you say and do from this day forward.

At the end of my life, if my daughter had only one thing to say about me, I’d want it to be…