We are MEANT to leave a legacy – In memory of Widayati and Suwarto Martosudirjo-

It’s been 23 days since my mother passed away.

While grieving, I have more time to rest, to sit still and to reflect on all that have been happening lately.

Having both of the most important and influential persons in my life already passed away, I ponder a lot about my life and theirs.

Despite the pains I have in my heart for missing them, I decided to continue living my life as full as I can although I’m also less than sure on how to live my life without my parents. It is new to me, and is a bit daunting.

As I adjourn deeper into my question, it becomes very clear to me that my parents leave my siblings and I a few important things to take further into our lives without them physically here.

It is their values, the deepest beliefs in their hearts that they held so dearly, about them and about life, and the wisdoms they have gotten when they were still physically here. This is essentially their legacy. Not only for us, but also for the people around them.

My parents never sat us down and preached to us on what values they held so dearly. No!

I learnt it from how they behaved on day-to-day basis in dealing with opportunities and set back, in expressing what are important and not for them, the lessons they learned from life, and through how they connect with each other and others. This was not a one off thing. I observe patterns after patterns of behaviors from them throughout my life. Some are uplifting and some are not. When they passed away, these patterns become much more obvious.

What I find most beautiful about this legacy is that there are no conditions attached to it. It is free for me to take. No need to pay inheritance taxes for it (!!).

It is an offering they give their children and we are free to take what are suitable for us.

In the recent weeks, I feel so much more “grown up” because now I become an elder in my family. Comes with it is the feeling that I feel more empowered and have a bigger sense of self-responsibility to choose which “inheritance” I want to keep to serve my life and which ones to let go. I must admit, it feels uplifting and daunting at the same time. The same feeling I always got when I was about to embark on a change.

To ease the way forward, I opt for my conviction that once people pass away, what remains is only LOVE, and not ego. I have a deep-rooted belief that my parents want us, their children, to live OUR lives, and not the lives that they once (perhaps) wished and planned for us.

This realization touched me in my deepest core. This is what a legacy is all about. This is what passing on the baton means. Legacy is simply an offering of collective wisdoms and values from a person to others to use as one of many fuels for their lives. Realizing this comforts me a great deal.

Now, here is a fact. EVERYONE leaves a legacy, consciously or unconsciously, regardless whether we like it or not, whether we want it or not.

It really does not matter how much money we have or do not have in life, how much or how little we are educated, where we live, whether we are single or have a family, etc. We are MEANT to leave a legacy because we always touch people around us, in one way or another.

So, here is a thought for us all. Do we know what we are leaving behind?

Here are some clues to ask ourselves:

  • What wisdom have I gained in my life up to now?
  • How do I love others and myself?
  • What do I choose to be important in my life, so much so I do not want to live without?
  • How have I been dealing with setbacks?
  • How have I been responding when opportunities knock on my door?
  • What are my inner guidelines in making decisions?
  • What kind of relationships I have been developing with people in my life?

Reflect on these questions. Journal them. Share them with the ones close to you, if you wish.

When you don’t feel satisfied with the answers you come up with, CHANGE THEM. You still have time. Take advantage of it while it lasts. You can TRANSFORM your legacy, anytime.


So, tell me – what do you intend to leave as a legacy? Thanks for sharing your thoughts in the comment section below.

Yours truly,


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