“Identity, Purpose and Legacy”
by G Franklin
Life after death is trash but it’s also the most beautiful trash I’ve had the opportunity to take out or determine as recyclable. Let me provide you with some context. I’m not a fan of death nor the experiences thereafter as I am sure many of us aren’t however before my mother’s death I had never been so close to the admin and logistics; only the emotions and grief. The loss of my Granny and Uncle had surely hit different and even the deaths of my Grandfather’s but Mommy, her death different.
Mommy’s death came after a job transition, of over 3 years, were taking care of everyone ahead of myself was somewhat to be expected. As I was grieving that loss/ transition, BOOM another! Here I am an only child to a single mother who has left no will. I was tired and unsure but through it all somehow God reminded me that I had a purpose and even more so that my mother’s life had a purpose. Somehow He reminded me that through all the hurt and frustration and planning and figuring it out that I was still just as important as I was when I was born and the day that Mommy died. God was also kind enough to let me know that I would be important in the days to come.
In the midst of it all, I limited myself to only being a good daughter to my mom. I disregarded all of my other roles and even more, the identity that I knew was mine. It was as if I had abandoned all knowledge of myself. Many times I forgot I was a decent friend, sister, aunt, cousin, leader, disciple, etc. But even more, I forgot that I was an amazing young woman with gifts and talents that were still very much needed by others in my life and my communities. When I realized that I was still “kind, smart, and important”, I made it my goal to live that out weekly and eventually daily. I was reminded of who I was and not the roles that I temporarily filled but the life, woman, and human I was created and purposed to be.
As a believer, I strongly recognized that Mommy’s death had a purpose. I also recognized that my being here afterward also had a purpose. I had the amazing opportunity to experience her love and everything that is her, for 30 years. I also had the opportunity to benefit from it. I even have the chance to recognize some of her amazing traits within me. Although living after her death has had its challenges, I am often reminded that these challenges as well as her death had a purpose in my life. I’d even dare to go further and say the timing, geographical and cultural positioning of her exposed my purpose. In this experience or journey, I’ve learned that I can encourage and support others in what they have been purposed to do, somewhat of a “Pusher” if you will. I get the chance to push others into destiny and purpose all the while doing the same for myself. There is beauty in realizing your life is about more than you and it’s also comforting to know that although close to the life lost, your life and your purpose have not been lost.
While some of us may not know or recognize our identity or purpose (and that is ok) we do know what that loved one left behind. For me, in my mother’s case, she left a legacy of love and stewardship. I’ve never known a love like hers and many have concurred. It’s such a love that I’d like to harness and share with the world. Her ability to steward relationships is unmatched. Since her death, it’s been my goal to love like her and steward relationships and God’s children similar to her example. To me, her legacy remains untouched and I would like to live up to that standard and even one day exceed it. Maybe your loved ones’ legacy was tangible. It may have been a business or a product or even stewarding a community as a leader or as a property owner. Or maybe your loved one had a legacy of not keeping their word. Either way, legacy is something to reflect on and honor. And yes even honoring the legacy of someone that did not keep their word helps us. How so? I’ve come to recognize that the not-so-pleasant or admirable traits are still a part of their legacy and it helps change or shift the trajectory of our legacy as we try to honor that loved one our purpose with our lives.
Life after death can be more than a bit much (understatement). But knowing that there is life after death is also encouraging. You and those too who you are connected, have so much more to live for outside of handling affairs and estates. Purpose and legacy are waiting just ahead. Yes, moments were challenging, are challenging, and will be challenging but there is more of you and more of life to be lived. Let the legacy of compassion reign on. Let your gifts and strengths push through. There is more to life after death and there is more to life in you!