Monday, April 14, 2014

Leaving This World Empty Handed

We were involved in a sad service project the other day. A member of our church was found dead in his apartment. The maid discovered his decayed body after he had been dead a week. He lived in an extended-stay hotel and worked out of his room as an IT subcontractor, hence no one missed him. (From his personal effects, we could tell he had diabetes with at least one open lesion—so he probably died of natural causes.)

We sorted through his things so the important documents could be sent to his teenage children who live with his estranged wife. We worked with heavy hearts.  

His clothing went to Goodwill, along with some of his electronic equipment. After we mailed his documents, computer, and pictures to his children, there was nothing left. Nothing of his life remained. He is buried in an unmarked grave.

Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty. Mother Teresa

My mother just passed away after a bout with cancer. There were a lot of last-minute visits by children and grandchildren. Uncles and aunts reunited at her house. We all were able to say multiple good-byes. She died surrounded with love. However, in the end, she also left all her material possessions. 

Houses, cars, jewelry, clothes all stay behind and are parceled out and eventually used up. So is there anything we can leave that will last?

My mother made the world a better place to live because she left a legacy of love and service. Her legacy lives on through her service to mankind, her children, and grandchildren.

What about this stranger? Did he leave a legacy of love and light? Only his family and friends can judge that.

As you think of your time of departure from this earth, what will you leave of yourself?
Everyone's legacy will be different.

Maybe you are a friend to all those around you.
You might love and mentor your children and grandchildren.
If you are financially successful, you could leave an endowment to bless other's lives.
What will your legacy be? 

There are many ways to give love and light to the world. Begin now to set your legacy plan in motion. It's too sad to see someone end up in an unmarked grave with no one to grieve their passing.

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. Tagore


  1. This post was a sad one for sure. The comparison was so enlightening. I think right now I can really relate to this one. There is a deep meaning to this one, also. I can imagine how hard this must of been to clean out his apartment and take care of what you could. I hope he had family that loved him.
    Blessings and hugs!

  2. I hope he has family in heaven and on earth that loved him.