What is your message and legacy?

Yesterday, I went to a funeral for a woman who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. I didn’t know her well, although she was my son’s best friend’s mother, but I wish that I had known her better.

What struck me during the service is that the last year of her life may have been her most empowered, because she became crystal-clear on what was most important to her. She had time to reflect on her life and recognize the lessons from her experiences, and then decide the legacy she wanted to leave behind to the world, her 4 children and her husband.

She planned her own funeral, including the casket and flowers. What bravery rose up in her to be able to do that? Her last message to everyone in her life was exactly what she wanted it to be. That’s empowering.

She thought of and acted upon what she wanted her children to know from her about life. So, she recorded messages and wrote letters to them to be opened on significant days in their lives; wedding day, first child, etc… I think that’s powerful and empowering to gain that type of focus – to be able to drown out the noise, and express the core of what you want your child to know or learn.

She started a tradition to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer treatment and awareness. She participated in a 10k walk just 3 days after she received her diagnosis, enlisted 60 people for her team- Nancy’s Fight Crew, and raised $5,000 in that short time. This will become a tradition for her children, and for those that knew her, to participate in a walk for cancer every February on Nancy’s behalf.

Of course it’s often the tragedies that bring such focus and reflection. But, why not take the opportunity to learn from it and as a wake up call for life?

In business and in life, what legacy do you want to leave behind? What are you doing, or what could you be doing, that would be worthy of discussion after you leave this world?

For more information about Pam’s Run and the The Lustgarten Foundation, please click here.

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