What will we leave behind when we die?
Life lessons

What will we leave behind when we die?

I recently took a trip to Penang. Hugged my daughter in the morning (she doesn’t want to go, I don’t want to force her) and said goodbye as best as I can, given the strained relationship at home. And I wondered, in the event if I leave home and never make it back, have I done enough to say a great goodbye to this life and the people in it?

I’ve been thinking about death. A lot.

I mean, I’ve always been morbid—I bring along my organ donation card when I go out so that the hospital has the permission to use my old body to give someone a new life. But increasingly, I’ve been thinking about death. Call it ageing. Call it maturity. Call it losing loved ones and seeing others lost theirs.

I don’t fear death, for I know of my eternal hope and destination when I die.


But I fear the life that I didn’t live when I’m alive—people who I didn’t show enough love, dreams that died when I do, leaving merely footprints-in-the-sand in people’s lives, washed away as soon as the next wave comes.


I’ve read this amazing story of Susan Spencer-Wendel, who when diagnosed with ALS, decided to leave the best memories for her family. She wrote the book “Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living with Joy” where she wrote about her year of living with joy. I still cry when I think about her story.


[bctt tweet=”I don’t want to wait for an illness to remind me my time is up. Live it up. Love more. Quickly. Nor death’s hand to suddenly come and snatch life away, leaving no chance for goodbyes.” username=”@melindayeoh”]


Knowing our life on earth is numbered explains why there are changes in my perspective of life (and death)

Why I’m giving on-a-whim mini awards like “Best hot-chocolate making award of the year” to my husband.

Why I created a Spotify ‘long drive ahead’ playlist based on his songs request to accompany his driving, quietly enjoying seeing his enjoyment and his singing along.

Spotify play list Long Drive
I’m also thinking about my work a lot—talent, gifts, contribution, serving, dreaming, opportunities. How do I tie it together, if at all?

So I’ve been thinking about death a lot.

And what kind of footprints I want to leave, with God at the centre of it all. One moment at a time.

Here’s a great reminder from Thomas a Kempis on how to live the remaining days of our life on earth. It’s also a suitable prayer to start your morning.

A Day Ahead Prayer

I’ll leave you with this short animation trailer, ‘Inner Workings’ from Disney about living life using both your heart and mind.

Inner Workings from Walt Disney


And this delightful scene of an old man making his work enjoyable. Kinda like the ending in the short animation above.


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