I was meeting with a Shining Light father in the last few days. His son who has crossed over was his only son. When he looks at other fathers, he sometimes feels jealous that they still have their sons. Then, he feels guilty for feeling jealous. We’ve all been there. Whether it’s our only child or one of a dozen, they’re all irreplaceable. They’re all one of a kind. Seeing others with their kids still running around doing the things kids do, with their promise for a bright future can sting.
Then, he went on to say something that caused me to do a double take and led to an insight that I want to share with you. He said that he had seen his son as his legacy. Not only did he “lose” a son, but he also lost his legacy. Coincidentally, in the coaching course I’m taking, the instructor just talked about the four phases of life, the last being the legacy stage. We all want to leave an imprint on the world. Some consciously want this, some subconsciously. But, we seek significance, and we seek permanence. Once we realize we’re not going to be here forever, a realization which doesn’t hit many of until our thirties or forties, we turn our attention to building a legacy. What can we do that will last beyond our mortal bodies? If we have children, we often try to make them our legacy. I tried to talk the girls into taking over Treasured Locks when I reached my old age. They both flatly rejected me, each choosing to make their way in the world.
Our kids can be our legacies, but there are many other ways to leave a legacy. We can build a business. We can build a building. We can start a scholarship fund. These are different traditional ways to think of legacies. But, there is a more important legacy we can leave. That is how we impact other people. This type of legacy may be an invisible legacy, but it’s a legacy none-the-less. I’d like to believe that some of my words have impacted others in a way that has changed their lives. I want to think that they have in turn influenced others. I think of people like Mark Ireland, the co-founder of Helping Parents Heal, who took the time to correspond with me after someone told me to email him out of the blue. Mark sent copies of his books to me and introduced me to Helping Parents Heal. I think of the work of Dr. Gary Schwartz who wrote the first book on mediumship I ever read. That was the book that set me on the path to knowing the afterlife is real. Who knew that almost twenty years later I would meet Gary and be working with him? Every person I touch from here on is part of each of the legacies of Mark, Gary, and others. Our kids can pass before us. Buildings will crumble. Businesses fail. But, the things we do in life that touch other people echo throughout eternity living long after this mortal body has turned to dust.
It’s not supposed to be like this. We expect our kids to mourn us. I’ve prepared myself for mourning my parents. Kayla and Shayna were supposed to be the ones to have to deal with my departure. I was old when they were born. The thought of outliving them never crossed my mind. They were supposed to be my legacies. But, things turned upside down. As it turns out, I am Shayna’s legacy. This is what struck me as that father’s words sank into my soul. Her too-short fifteen years in my life has had an impact beyond what I could have ever dreamed it would have. And, it’s because of her premature passing that I dedicate every single day now to making her proud by making sure her legacy is what it was intended to be.