How not to be forgotten?

Have you ever taken a look through your senior yearbook? Glanced at that superlative section? The one that listed the best looking? Most athletic? Best dressed? Most unforgettable? Then wondered who they were? Because well…you forgot them.

I have been thinking recently about this: What makes someone unforgettable? Or in the same way, what makes them just someone we used to know?

First, what does it mean to be unforgettable? Well by definition-“incapable of being erased, or impressed on the memory” (Merriam-Webster). But are the things impressed on our memory simply things? Rewards? Accomplishments? Beauty? Brains? Maybe. But I think it’s something more. Much more.

The lyrics from the song “How They Remember You” by Rascal Flatts confirms what I have wondered for some time: It ain’t a question of if they will
It’s how they remember you

Will I leave an impression unable to be erased, or be someone somebody simply used to know?

And if that memory can’t be erased, what will it leave?

Did you stand or did you fall?
Build a bridge or build a wall

Hide your love or give it all
What did you do? What did you do?
Did you make ’em laugh or make ’em cry?

Did you quit or did you try?
Live your dreams or let ’em die?
What did you choose? What did you choose?

Did you welcome, or did you make them feel like an outcast? Did you support and encourage, or did you hinder and tear down? Did you offer praise, or do nothing but complain and criticize? Did you help when others needed it, and were lost; or did you leave them lonely and trying to navigate the losses alone? Did you show love or hate? Make people feel seen and heard; or unwanted and unloveable? Safe or rejected?

Which one were you?

Which one would you choose?

How do you want others to remember you?

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