I attended the funeral of a woman today whom I did not know very well personally. We’d met several times at networking functions, and I was instantly impressed by her warm presence and ability to really look someone in the eye. She was a pillar of the community and a dear friend to many of my friends and colleagues.
I can honestly say it was one of the most beautiful services I’d ever been to. No generic accolades or vague terms of endearment. This was a woman who’d truly touched people.
As stories were told of her enduring nature and generous heart, I couldn’t help but focus on the large pillar candles flickering on the alter. I began to wonder about my own legacy. What will be said at my funeral? Will I be known as someone who only looked out for myself, or someone who tried to “shed a little light”?
I think most of us live life trying to protect our own flame. We guard and protect the fire within us, and when it’s snuffed out, all that’s left behind is a darkened void. Fortunately, there are individuals who spend their lives reaching out to others, and igniting their inner spark. They move through life with compassion and kindness, and never keep their light to themselves.
And when their flame is extinguished, even unexpectedly and prematurely, their fire continues to glow in the friends and family they’ve left behind–and I really don’t think there’s a better way to shed a little light than that.