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As a deep thinker, an over thinker, and someone who obsesses about some very strange things at times, I have come to realise that one thing bugs me over and over. My legacy!

I recently blogged about dying, cheerful I know, but it was on my mind, so I put it out there. In that piece I questioned what it was all about. Is death to be feared, or lived for? When we are gone, what is left, and what difference does our passing make to everyone else.

Having lost quite a few friends over the years, as well as some good acquaintances, its quite easy for me to make this next observation. Some people I have known who have died rarely ever cross my mind. Other however come into my thoughts on an almost daily basis. Not as sadness, but as memories of times gone by, thinking how a certain person would have liked whatever it is I'm doing at that moment, or just missing them for a moment.

In reality, I'm sure we all strive to be the latter. I know I do. I think I actually fear just being forgotten. I know I have shared some very special moments with some amazing people, and hope already that I have left my mark in life, at least in my own generation. I hope that I have done enough in life to generate a huge amount of 'do you remember when we' type conversations, as I have done about friends who have passed.

But there is a bone of contention in there, and one that doesn't sit well with me. My true legacy.
I am 42 years old now, far from old, but certain opportunities in life have reached a point of no return now. Choosing to have a child now, the primeval instinct of the human race, is quite a stretch in my world now, and not a choice I would make. Like a woman with her biological clock ticking away, I share that feeling of a door closing.
Of course, I have a child, or should I say, I fathered a child who is now a 20 year old woman.

It doesn't get to me too often, not something that I dwell on too much. I know in the years I have been absent she has been well looked after and loved. Raised well, and strives to make great academic achievements. I would say I'm really proud, but then that is a little glory grabbing really as its none of my doing.
Or is it? On a gross and scientific level, I do have something to be proud of. My genes after all went into her genetic makeup, she is 50% me, and while one part of the biological equation seems to have forgotten I am quite intelligent, thankfully her brain hasn't, and a part of me is indeed responsible for her success.

The truth is, my legacy as it stands is in 2 very separate pieces.
On the one hand, another generation has a life, will out live me, and a bloodline will continue. Regardless of my role and presence in the past 16 years, without me, there would be no her. Someone else maybe, but not her. Regardless of our interactions in years to come, her wishes to know me or involve me, she is my legacy. Like it or not.

Then the second part is the lives I have shared. The memories of the people I hold dearest to me, and who I have shared moments of happiness, sadness and of course stupidity with. A part of my life I have full control over, decisions I have made, and futures I have shaped. I hope I have done enough in those peoples lives to be remembered until their final days too, and for the stories of our adventures together to be told for decades to come.

Do you strive for a legacy? Or just take each day as it comes, and not care about what happens when you are gone?

Just sitting at Oxford services off the M40 at the moment after attending Stourbridge Crem for Tas's send off. I have to say the first thing I noticed was how small the number attending was. I realise people have commitments, and would not for one second expect the whole world to show up, but Tas was such a loving a popular guy I am shocked at how few made the trip. Tas's side of the family was missing, for what I understand to be religious reasons, so it was left to some close friends and loved ones to be in on the service.

I have not seen Tas for a number of years now, and while he was dear to my heart, I didn't feel I had a place in the actual service, so waited just outside while it all took place. I waited and spoke with Kim, Tas's ex-wife who also wanted to pay her respects.

Once the service had finished and people begun to exit, I left. The one thing I hate about funerals is the falseness of some of the people you will meet there. Fake smiles, false recollections, and empty "nice to see you, we should get together" stuff. Seen and heard it all before, and quite frankly it makes me feel sick, so I prefer to avoid it.

The setting and the weather however... Beautiful to say the least. A warm, clear, sunny spring day, and a hill top crematorium for him to begin his final journey.

So as I put distance between myself and the event, I sit in the sunshine reflecting on 10 or so years of knowing Tas, the moments we shared, and how things went over the years. A quiet loveable guy, loved to smile and be in groups of car lovers, pride in his ride, and an appetite for life. Tas, you were one of the genuine ones out there and your passing is a great loss to many many more than who came to say farewell today.

I am thankful that I managed to get to see Cadell and Archie (my newly adopted son lol) too. Its nice to mix some happiness with the sadness of today. Another Travelodge ticked off my to-do list. This is becoming a bit of a habit now. And a visit to a Sainsburys which seemed like something from the past lol.

So as I drive back towards London shortly I wave farewell to much from the past and present, and wonder when I will next travel these roads. Possibly to see my aunt at the weekend, who knows.

Til then, its back to the realities of home again. Sort mum out, get the dogs walked and get back on with life. Time to get off my arse, out of the sun and back on the road now I guess. *sigh

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How complicated can life possibly be, and how can it get even more complex after the life has ended? Its amazing how living your own life is complicated in itself, but once decisions start being made for you in your absence it gets wild and crazy. Reading of wills causes bickering between immediate family, final wishes cause confusion between loved ones.
It is truly astounding that while many live selfish lives, that in your passing the fighting doesn't end, but instead seems to intensify. Everyone knowing a small aspect of a persons life, one little piece of an entire existence, yet we all become experts in their wishes and wants in life.
The passing of a friend, an acquaintance, or a loved one is a time for grieving, celebrating and coming to terms with the fact that they are no longer with us. Not a time to dig up the dirt of the past, hold grudges or start fights. From near or afar anyone who has shared a connection with the person has a right to pay their respects in some form. Maybe not be a speaker at the service, maybe not the closest person to the deceased any longer, but if done tactfully and in line with the wishes and respects of those closest, they should be allowed to say farewell.

When my nan died, the first thing that happened was an out and out war over her house. How it should be sold, what price etc. Nan's final wish was for the two sides of the family to be one again, but that lasted all of about 2 hours! Now, the family is divided as it ever was. All the wishes of nan left behind, all the respect that should have been paid to her and her wishes have been lost in greed and selfish behaviour of others wanting to be in control of the situation. Acting in "the best interests" of the deceased.

It honestly sickens me when this happens. An hour, a day, the last one we can share with a person we claim to care about, but instead it descends into turmoil and one final bitch fight.

Its times like this I think, when I die, shove me in a box, invite no-one, burn me and let me just disappear without being the cause of more anger and conflict!

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