Warm Memories: Your living epitaph

My father was just 42 when he was permanently disabled and institutionalized. My mother was just 37 when she died. These two events have forced me to take the pursuit of the meaning of life seriously.


Some have suggested that when we think about the meaning of my life, we should think about what we want our eulogy to be, or what we would want to have on our headstone. While these may be valid, I think there is an additional way.

What are your greatest memories to date? If you were to die today, what treasure would you take with you to the grave?

As I think back on my life, I quickly come up with a few pictures in my mind as to my favorite memories. One is a picture of my son and I on our dirt bikes. We are posing for the picture just before embarking on another trail ride. He is very young – only about 6 or 7 years old. I have very found memories of trail riding with him.

Another favorite memory is that of camping with my wife and kids. We have a photo album full of great shots of mountains and streams, and especially the late night fire pits.

When I think of my daughter, the memories are more in the realm of giggles and laughter. They are audible pics. She has been the epitome of her middle name: joy.

More recently a memory that brings me warmth is driving Lahiya (spanish for daughter – and a longer story) to her hockey games in arenas around the province – in the cold of winter – oh, the irony.

I note highlights in my career – but I am less drawn to them. They do not fill me with a sense of warmth. Still, the human connection and the deep conversations within the context of my career do come with a warmth. The interactions with people and the awareness of where I have had any impact in inspiring or encouraging someone in their life’s journey brings me warmth.

What memories bring you a sense of warmth? They just may be a key to meaningfulness and purpose in your life.