Fleeting Thoughts: How Do We Wish to Be Remembered?


Have you ever thought about when your turn is up on earth, how, if, or what you’ll be remembered for? Not to sound depressing, but just thinking about impressions we leave behind as our mark in the world as our legacies. Will we leave an indelible print on someone’s heart or mind? Will we be remembered for any words of wisdom, humor, quotes or empowering messages?


I try not to think about my eventual non-existence in this world and had never really thought about what I’d leave behind in people’s minds and hearts. I have occasionally thought about my not having any natural children through the years, which leaves me wondering if when my time comes, will anyone remember me?


What would I like people to remember about me, if asked? Well, I’d certainly like to think that in some small way, the words I leave behind in my books and stories and definitely in my social media footprints may make a difference to someone or many someones as the world goes by. I’d like to think my caring and compassion will occasionally come to mind as a fleeting thought or in discussion by any who may have known me, or perhaps, from my writings, or by some who never knew me. Would all my scribbles across numerous notebooks and scraps of paper be scrutinized? Cherished? Tossed in the garbage?  Will more people read my books after I’m gone, like so many now famous authors of the past who were considered unknowns while they lived? Will anybody ever even remember that I once existed?


I wonder if other writers ever think about our writing and what will happen to all the words we leave behind once we’ve fulfilled our purpose on this earth.


Do you ever wonder about how you’ll be remembered?


Nobody really knows the answer to any of these questions, and of course, me being a curious soul, am just really thinking out loud. But wouldn’t it be interesting if we could actually ‘look down’ after whisked away to another dimension after our time here on earth is done and get a glimpse of how others perceived us and our work?






48 thoughts on “Fleeting Thoughts: How Do We Wish to Be Remembered?

  1. That’s a good question, Debby! What’s memorable about you is your large HEART, your WORDS, of course, and your untiring Support of other others. I don’t know of anyone else with a more dynamic presence in the blog world. Brava, my friend! ((( )))


  2. I think eventually our works, our names, and the memories of us fade in oblivion, Debby. But the love and kindness we spread around changes other people’s lives and that change passes down through the generations of time. That’s how we become immortal.

    I think contemplating our legacies is important because its never too late to toss a pebble into the pool of love and create those ripples. Hugs.


  3. We are lucky to be able to leave some writing. A privilege only previously granted to famous authors! I have left all my manuscripts and the intellectual property to my daughter, reminding her not to throw anything away! I would love to have had something written down by grandparents I don’t remember. Of course it’s unlikely that all the millions of us with on line words will gain the attention of historians in the twenty third century.


  4. I think about things like this a lot more as I’ve gotten older. Is that a symptom of aging, or do we have more time on our hands to think about it? It’s important to me to leave some kind of legacy on Earth. What kind of difference have I made to the world? I want to be remembered as a kind and compassionate person, and earning the approval of my family, friends, colleagues, and students is way up there on my list. I think it’s something we all should strive for.

    That said, I want to keep living life to the fullest in the present. There will be plenty of time for reflection later on. The teacher gives you an A+ on this one, Debby! 😎


    1. Awe shucks Pete, thank you. But yes, I should think we all want to be remembered in good light and for some way we’ve touched someone else’s life. You have nothing to worry about my friend. 🙂 x


  5. Like actors and singers, authors never go Deb, they remain alive through their thoughts and words, which would be read generation after generation. I know I would be remembered for the emotions I’ve shared in my poetry. Here is one excerpt:

    Fly with me to touch the moon
    To merge in its silvery silence.
    Dream with me to be like a star
    Admired for being a guiding light.

    Here is another excerpt from my book (Moments We love) that says all:

    Don’t grieve over me when I go
    I would be around you
    In your laughter, In your mirth
    In your reveries, in your recluse

    I would live in your thoughts
    My words would flutter merrily
    To remind you
    How transient is life!


  6. I have thought about how I’d like to be remembered when I leave here. Mostly, I want to be remembered as a kind person who liked to lend a helping hand. But our written work will exist long after we don’t.


  7. It is a good question and my answer has changed over the years and who is asked. Mostly, I hope I’m happy with what I’ve done.


  8. I think probably we’ll only be remembered by our nearest and dearest, unless by any slim chance we were able to sell millions of books. I’d like to be remembered with fondness by those who know me. That’s good enough for me. x


  9. Hi Debby – interesting post, as well as superb answers and thoughts … I hope I’ll just have a quiet send off with a smile and some warm thoughts – perhaps people will be interested in my blog in the future – who knows – but I’m not worried at the moment. I have no ambition for thoughts about me in the future – but I would like to think I’ll find out how things happened in the centuries gone, and where life goes in the future … I know I’m frustrated that I won’t know – sadly. So I’ll just quietly carry on and enjoy life for now … cheers Hilary


  10. I actually don’t. I do my best, have never done anything with a broad affect on humanity (like whoever invented the wheel). I’d like to be cremated, thrown to the wind, no funeral. When my life rejoins whatever the collective is (since we know energy and matter never go away), I expect I won’t care.


  11. Good question Debby and I am sure you will be remembered not only by those you have read and been comforted by your books but also your touching of all our lives in one way or another.. Kindness is something never forgotten.. I would like to think that people in the future might buy an ebook on a whim and wonder about who I was… but if some have a laugh when they hear my name I will be very happy..♥♥


  12. A poignant consideration, Debby, and one that’s rather timely, as I’m now re-reading Eben Alexander’s The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife. And, I like Eckhart Tolle’s thoughts in his book, The Power of Now. I think the here and now matters long range, and what dictates how a person will be remembered is a truthful ripple effect from words and deeds. I’m thinking that once we are on the “otherside” concerns with this side won’t be a major concern in light of the “now” over there, but who’s to say? I think it’s enough to be and do one’s conscious best because that’s what we’ll leave behind.


    1. Thank you Claire for your wonderful analysis, and also for recommending me these two books. I’m fascinated with the afterlife and I’d have to imagine that once on the other side, this side won’t be a major concern other than the people we leave behind and care to watch over. ❤


  13. Our name might not be remembered, Deb, but the essence of our words and deeds will imprint on the DNA of generations to follow. If energy follows thought, where does that energy go? Everything we experience changes us, not only mentally and emotionally, but physically as well. When we cross over, I think our legacy in name won’t matter nearly (if at all) as much as the change we effected while incarnate. So a prelude to your question might be: What change for the better do I wish to effectuate while alive? Once we answer that, everything else falls into place. As elders within humanity, we have a responsibility to ask, answer, and resolve this question within ourselves; and then, by example, teach our younger counterparts. They might not remember our name, but they will remember our words and deeds as well as the pivotal situation that affected them so deeply. And when they cross over, they’ll recognize the spirits who guided them. That will be our legacy. ❤️


  14. Yes! I do think about this, especially as I am now in the autumn years of my life! Many of the things I do, now that I have been able to articulate my goal is just that! Maybe it’s more a mission statement? I need to now print this on my wall!! It has helped me with understanding my value/purpose.


  15. A very interesting discussion, Debby. Very few people are remembered for longer than one generation. It is only the exceptional in all walks of life that make a more lasting mark. I think that’s okay, it is the here and now that is important and the mark we make while we are alive and how we impact the lives of those around us. I personally, don’t think what happens after death is of importance. This is why I try to give my family as much love and attention as possible today, right now.


  16. You ask a great question, Debby.

    I’m with Diana on this – ‘I think eventually our works, our names, and the memories of us fade in oblivion.’ For a while, those who knew us personally or through social media knew of us, may remember us, but unless we have done anything that changed the world, after those people also leave this world, we’ll fade into oblivion.
    I like to think I will come up in some history lessons of the future and, who knows, after I am gone, maybe somebody will pick up something I did, said or wrote and turn it into something that has a significant impact on our home. It’s a shame I won’t know anything about it, but it’s a lovely thought.


  17. I am with Robbie on this. In my case, I don’t have children either, so it is less likely that many people will remember me, but it doesn’t matter. I’m of no consequence in the big scheme of things, and I just hope there is a brighter future for humanity and the whole world than it looks like right now.
    I’ve always thought Oscar Wilde was onto something with this prose poem:

    ONE evening there came into his soul the desire to fashion an image of THE PLEASURE THAT ABIDETH FOR A MOMENT. And he went forth into the world to look for bronze. For he could think only in bronze.

    But all the bronze of the whole world had disappeared, nor anywhere in the whole world was there any bronze to be found, save only the bronze of the image of THE SORROW THAT ENDURETH FOR EVER.

    Now this image he had himself, and with his own hands, fashioned, and had set it on the tomb of the one thing he had loved in life. On the tomb of the dead thing he had most loved had he set this image of his own fashioning, that it might serve as a sign of the love of man that dieth not, and a symbol of the sorrow of man that endureth for ever. And in the whole world there was no other bronze save the bronze of this image.

    And he took the image he had fashioned, and set it in a great furnace, and gave it to the fire.

    And out of the bronze of the image of THE SORROW THAT ENDURETH FOR EVER he fashioned an image of THE PLEASURE THAT ABIDETH FOR A MOMENT.

    Let’s enjoy every day and do the best we can. I’m sure those who know you will remember you fondly. Thanks, Debby.


  18. Actually, I’ve thought about this a great deal the past two weeks. I have a large family and three children. Each will remember me in thier own way, some good memories, some bad. I’m far from perfect, and I can be brutally honest, which people don’t like to hear.

    It feels about right since I remember my father differently than my older siblings do. I remember the good and the bad and because he was my father, a young man who had suffered greatly during the Second World War, I try to understand the bad through his eyes, On the other hand, I remember my brother who passed in late October differently. He had little hardship in life. I won’t lie. There were times he was a mean jerk to me. Yet other times, he was kind.

    So I think that’s how most of us will be remembered, if honestly said. Sure, some won’t speak the negative, but they”ll think it. My mother always said, “Don’t speak ill of the dead.” Well, I don’t really follow that advice. I try to be truthful in death as I was while they were living.

    While I know many writers publish their books only in eBook form, I encourage everyone to create a paperback and have at least one copy on their bookshelf. This preserves their words in case their files online go offline. I figure my kids won’t read my books until I’m dead, so having a few on hand will give them the opportunity.

    I feel that those who pass do get the chance to look down and see how others react to their death. At least I hope they do. Not so I can look back to see the reaction to my death, but so those who have gone before me will hear my final words to them.


    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Diane. And I’m sorry for the loss of your brother. 2021 has been a brutal year for so many. I’m with you on the books. Perhaps if we leave them lying around people may be curious to read after we’re gone. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. ❤


  19. SO FARRRRR behind. Creating value–helping others find their own path to joy and success. That’s what both the future blogs, books and other writing is supposed to be about–and the one-to-one ineractions too.


  20. I am 100% sure you will be remembered, Debby, by most people who know you. You’ve touched many people’s hearts with your words, care, and presence. Or, you will be remembered for being honest and sharing your opinion, whether the person on the other end likes it or not! 🙂 You’ve probably pissed people off as well and be remembered for that, haha. You are making a difference in so many ways! With your books, your blog, your support of other indie authors, by being you!!

    Like you, I fear I won’t be remembered, because I have no children. I’m not close to my brother (we are very different beings) and I rarely see his children due to my lifestyle abroad. To be rembered as an author, I’d have to write more books, I think.

    As for the thought of leaving this world… Unfortunately, I have been aware and consumed by this since I was a young teenager. I feel that my entire life, I’m preparing for losing people and dying myself. Sounds horrible, but you can’t control your own mind.


    1. Liesbet, thanks for sharing a piece of yourself. I have often felt the same as you. And like me, you have made so many friends around the world, you will have more experiences friends and books to be remembered by. ❤ And thank you for your lovely words about me. You are lovely. ❤ xx


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