During the NFDA workshop Creating a Life of Legacy, presenter Rabbi Daniel Cohen talked about discovering your ideal self.
By discovering what is most important in your life, you can create your own legacy and a more personalized sendoff. Personalized funerals matter, as they’re the final opportunity to share your legacy and how you want to be remembered.
Let’s break down what we learned from this workshop and how to use it to create personalized funerals.
Find Your Ideal Self
The first step to creating your legacy is discovering what is most important to you. Whether it’s your goals, loved ones, or something else, they make up who you are and how you want to be remembered.
For example, these are some questions that Cohen presents to help discover what’s most important to you:
- What would you do if you only had 24 hours left to live?
- What is worth going outside your comfort zone?
- Who/What is worth fighting for?
- What are your goals in life; what do you hope to achieve?
- In five adjectives or less, how do you want people to remember you?
Consider Your Choices
In the words of Albus Dumbledore, “It is our choices, Harry, that show who we really are far more than our abilities.” The choices you make and the actions you take reflect who you are more than the words you say.
For example, these are a few questions that Cohen presents to determine your choices and how they influence your life:
- Identify the three main core values in your life.
- Reflect on a courageous choice you made driven by these values above.
- How do you stay connected to your past and hopeful for the future, but not forget to live in the present?
- What/Who motivates you to be your best?
- How do you stay humble and grateful for everything you’ve received in life?
Now, let’s take everything we’ve learned from this workshop and apply it to creating personalized funerals. Your answers to the questions above can create a funeral that honors your legacy.
For example, these are some areas of a funeral that you can personalize to reflect your legacy:
Your eulogy is the perfect place to highlight your core values in life. For example, if family was important to you, your loved ones can share stories to reflect this. Or, maybe your goal was to put others before yourself, and loved ones can share stories about your volunteer work.
Your obituary is another way to share your legacy. It doesn’t have to just be the generic date of death, surviving family, and funeral information. It’s another opportunity to show what mattered most in your life and what you want to be remembered for.
As for the funeral itself, your loved ones can create displays to represent your legacy. These displays can show your loved ones, dreams, values, or whatever was important to you. There can even be a jar where loved ones write a favorite memory and put it inside.
Funeral gifts are another way to give loved ones a lasting memory of your legacy. It could be something simple like a favorite quote or poem. Or, it can be a memorial stone with your name and core values engraved on it.
How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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