What Will Be Your Legacy? Why Should You Care?

Jennifer Thompson
3 min readMar 17

What would your legacy be? And why should you care?

I attended a friend's funeral lately. He was someone who was more like a dad to me. His death reminded me of my dad's death. After a long battle with Alzheimer's, my dad passed away about seven years ago.

He was 87. He got married much later in life and had kids at a stage when most people would be dealing with teenagers.

Death often reminds me of the kind of legacy I would leave behind.

What I remember most about my dad:

  • He was instrumental in inspiring me toward a career in finance.
  • He gave me a love for economics, and I could easily unpack its concepts.
  • My dad was the most positive person I have met in my life.
  • He was an amazing cook. Sometimes, when he returned from work, he would wear his long-sleeved shirt and dress pants in an apron to help with the cooking.
  • His relationship with my mother was rocky for the first half of their marriage. But something changed within him when I was a teenager, and he became a very devoted husband in the second half of their marriage. So I am glad they stuck it out.
  • My dad was kind. He would give the shirt off his back to a friend in need.
  • He was also a man of faith.
  • Most importantly, my dad believed in me and that I could achieve anything I wanted. And if my dad believed it, so did I!

If I could have dinner with anyone in the world, I would have it with my dad — one last time — to tell him how much I appreciate the legacy he left in me!

My epitaph

I imagined my epitaph at my funeral that I loved those closest and had a good sense of humor. But unfortunately, there would only be a few attendees since I've traveled a lot and lived on different continents, and I have never been one to nurture long-term close friendships.

My need for independence and freedom may be partly to blame. But even as an independent, freedom-loving individual, I can still leave a meaningful legacy.

Our mortality

Jennifer Thompson