Monday, December 7, 2015

Remember Me, Remember You

By Daniel Applegate
President, Arlington Memorial Gardens

While we might not openly discuss it, there’s a sentiment, a hope if you will, that is common to us all:  we have an undeniable urge to be remembered once we are gone. This impulse is so strong that great shrines have been created over millennia to remind us for whom they were built -- think the Great Pyramids. That, of course, is the most obvious example; however, we all conceive this singular notion that our time on earth is worthy of a legacy.

How do we do build a legacy? In his Bestselling Book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” author Stephen Covey reflects on that question and then prescribes what he calls “beginning with the end in mind.” To begin with the end in mind is, according to Covey, “to begin today with the image, picture, or paradigm of the end of your life as your frame of reference or the criterion by which everything else is examined. By keeping that end clearly in mind, you can make certain that whatever you do on any particular day does not violate the criteria you have defined as supremely important and that each day of your life contributes in a meaningful way to the vision you have of your life as a whole.”

Those are heady words and when deeply considered, they provide wonderful insights on how to live a deeply meaningful life so that, when it ends, you’ll be not only remembered, but remembered fondly, perhaps even with reverence.

But remembering is not a passive process. There’s something more at work because memories are distinctly bilateral – indelibly involving or intertwined with others. Perhaps the best example is within family units where great memories are often centered around big events: births, baptisms, birthdays, graduations, weddings and anniversaries. Yet, equally great memories can be created during other, less luminous family gatherings: picnics, potlucks, game nights, and of course, the just around the corner Holidays.

Remembering isn’t just about you; it’s really about all of the people in your life: family, friends, work colleagues, and professional associates. It’s that mutual connection to them that counts and brings meaning not only to your life but to their life as well.

“Remember Me” is really an appeal to be remembered.  How will others remember you? Well, most of that is in your hands. But, memorializing your life is a process where we can provide our expertise – because it’s what we do here at Arlington. Memorializing doesn’t just happen - it’s an intentional process that takes thoughtful planning.  Remember Me? Give us a call and let us help.  

Daniel Applegate became part of the Arlington Memorial Gardens organization in 2001 and has worked in the cemetery industry since 1981, including serving as Secretary/Treasurer and then as President of the Ohio state cemetery association.  He was appointed by Ohio Governor George Voinovich and served two terms on the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission, Ohio's cemetery oversight agency. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science.