The best way to honor someone’s legacy: carry on

The past few days have been rough to say the least. This past Thursday, I said goodbye to my grandfather, who passed away after a brief illness.
Though our family knew the inevitable was coming, it still didn’t make things any easier when reality hit.
In the past few days, as I have sought to prepare for the post-mourning process, the question to me revolves around one thing: how can I honor the legacy of someone who has passed away?
For me, I think that can best be answered by saying, I simply will carry on. Just like the title of the hit song from the band “Fun,” the motto is to continue living life the way that that since-deceased person would want you to live it.
I know from conversations I had with my grandfather, especially in his later years, that he didn’t want anyone to mourn his passing, but instead celebrate his accomplishments and legacy. He also said he didn’t want anyone to change themselves as a result of their sadness.
His main dream was to see everyone thrive and be their best self in the face of tragedy and adversity.
When I wake up after it’s all over, the funeral, the burial, and all that, there will be a new day, and the sun will rise and shine.
I have an obligation to my grandfather to carry on with what I have to do in life: to get back to my job, to my social life, to my clubs and organizations, and to my friends and family that I have been distant from.
Now obviously, everyone mourns and accepts deaths differently. Some quickly come to the realization of what has happened and are able to move on and return to normalcy. For others, it’s a slow process that can take days, weeks or even months to be completed. For some, the mourning process never truly ends. And of course, everyone should mourn at their own pace.
But yet I’ve always found the easiest way to move on has been to return to normalcy as best possible, both for your sake and for the sake of the legacy of the deceased.
If needed, there are methods and ways to cope with the reality of death. Talking with friends or family, just as a way of sharing emotions or memories, can be therapeutic and help a lot.
Another idea is to express your creative side. Sitting down and creating something can be useful ways of letting out any emotions that are bottled up. Maybe listening to or watching something you shared an interest in with the one who has passed away would help.
Regardless, it’s important that, in finding the way to carry on, you truly do come away from any tragedy a better, more content individual.

MICHAEL GUIDO
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