Choir Notes

The Lessons of Our Lives
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4390

Obituaries are snapshots of a life. In short order, they give us a glimpse into a person’s experiences and character. Granted, they do not claim to paint a complete picture—every life is more nuanced than what can be summarized in a few lines in the newspaper. But there’s something noble about focusing on the positive in an effort to pay tribute and respectfully say goodbye.
Sometimes, an obituary comes along that reveals a life of such wisdom and character that it inspires even those who never met the deceased to live a little better.
Recently, a mother’s five children penned “A Love Letter to Mom” to honor her at her passing in her early 90s. They published their letter in her obituary in the local newspaper. One did not have to know this beloved mother to appreciate the simple but profound truths her children learned at her knee over the years. They reported that from their mother they learned:
To love fiercely, and tell people before it’s too late. 
To be loyal, always. 
To enjoy life—one bite at a time.
To laugh easily—with others and at yourself.
To be generous with your time, money, and heart.
To love [yourself ].
And to never forget that God adores [you].1
After her long and productive life, these are the teachings and example that lingered in her children’s hearts and minds.
What are the lessons, example, and wisdom we hope to leave as a legacy of our lives? There’s an important lesson in this dear mother’s life well lived: Of everything we can leave to our loved ones, virtues like love, generosity, and loyalty—recurring themes in this “love letter” — are what they will remember and cherish the most. Such virtues make up the legacy that our children and grandchildren will carry into the next generations. Truly, a good person, even in death, lives forever.

1 Obituary of Lucile Johnson, Deseret New, July 27-Aug. 2, 2013, http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/deseretnews/obituary.aspx?n=lucile-johnson&pid=166053918&fhid=16025.

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