“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing you have received, but only what you have given; a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage.”

– St. Francis of Assisi

What will your legacy project look like? Legacy projects are completed by music therapists often in collaboration with someone who is grieving their loved one’s death. For example, music therapists will work with family members to write a song for their loved one, record a treasured song in a preferred style, or create a playlist that reminds them of their loved one and brings them hope. These projects serve to help their loved one’s memory live on after he or she has died.

Songs last longer than our memories. We can listen to a song years later and not quite remember the situation, but we can feel the emotion we associated with it. Processing the emotion then helps us to access the memory which becomes a profound way for families to remember the life of their loved one. An at-home bereavement project for you could include creating a playlist that reminds you of your loved one, with a sprinkle of songs that also bring you hope, validating in you the truth that life has meaning beyond the daily grind and just getting by.

As we face questions of life and death, valuable questions may arise concerning the meaning of our own lives. Am I living my life well? How will the decisions I make today affect the generations that come after me?

This leads me to the question of- what will your legacy project look like? What songs will others think to remember you by? What we do for ourselves will be forgotten- but what we do for others will live on. As St. Francis of Assisi said, on this earth we can only leave behind a life lived from the heart “…enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage.”

Are you living in that place of sacrificial, courageous love every day? If not, what would that look like for you? How are you being invited to change?

I encourage you to say “YES” to courageous love, exercised in sacrifice and humble service….for each “yes” is a note added to the love song that will outlive you and love is a beautiful legacy to leave behind.

Listen to the song below, reflect, and meditate on the above questions.