What will your obituary say?

I had some extra time this morning to flip through the entire front section of my daily newspaper, The Greenville News.  Today, though, I took time to try and read every article, including the obituary page (which I normally gloss over, since I haven’t quite reached that age where I should start reading it to see if I know anyone).

Today I took the time to read through the recounts of these deceased people’s lives.  Some were military veterans, most were older than 60, one young girl died at 25.  What struck me most, though, was not the ages of the deceased listed, but rather how little of the content actually focused on the people’s careers.

Sure, there was passing reference to the place where the person had or currently worked.  But the bulk of the obit was dedicated to mentioning the person’s philanthropic work, community involvement or dedication to family and hobbies.

How ironic that we spend most of our time (or at least I do) thinking about how to grow our business, keep up in business, stay ahead in business — when at the end of the day, it’s the stuff outside of work that seems to matter most. 

There’s the old cliche that says when most people are close to passing away, they never wish they’d spent “more time at the office.”  Rather, they wish they’d spent more time with loved ones or pursuing interests that mattered most to them.

I hope whenever my time comes my obituary will say I was a dedicated and loving wife, mother and daughter, that I cared about others and was active in my church and community.  And oh yeah, that I had a successful PR business along the way.  I hope I would have a reputation that would make my family proud.

What would your obituary say about you?  Would your reputation precede you?  Would it say you spent way too much time at the office, or would it say you were dedicated to your family/friends/pets/community?

What kind of legacy will you leave behind? Just a question to ponder……

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