Finding the True Legacy Left Behind

Billy Graham Quote | Hansen-Spear Funeral Home - Quincy, Illinois

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Psalm 25: v. 16 in these holy words from psalm 25, we continue to hear and grieve and at the same time be aware of the love and the grace God has for each us as we walk this sacred journey feeling lonely and afflicted. Only God can heal our broken hearts. In that healing we see holy light that can move us on our way and to live with loss.

So what is the purpose of this missive? Well, here it is, I’m not at all interested in the relevant property or money your loved one left behind. I’m more concerned with those intangible things they handed down; the things they instilled in you through their love, compassion and words, their actions and the choices they made in their lives. What have you learned from those gifts?

The Rev. Billy Graham said, “Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.”

I have a friend whose ex-husband died unexpectedly. His material wealth was non-existent and for a very long time, she was just plain angry. She’d call and ask over and over again, “How could he do this to his kids?”

Today, she is able to more open to his real legacy. He enjoyed attentive solitude; he was an honest, hard worker, and was kind to others. These are important lessons for his children as they grow into adulthood. My mother passed down her love for love of life, her love for family and her cooking. She was one who could make you smile and gave each person she met her hear to listen. My father gave me the love of the poor, the needy, and unforgotten of our society.

I’d like you to spend time today in considering your loved one’s true legacy. It’s a wonderful way to get, and stay, close to them.

Peace and all good,
Brother Ed Arambasich, OFM,
Quincy, Fire and Police Chaplain

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