How Do You Want to be Eulogized?

In a strange confluence of events the day of a workshop on working with older adults and their families, a memorial was held at the Capitol for American Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the first for a woman. As a Supreme Court Justice, she served from 1993 until 2020, where she fought against gender discrimination and unified the liberal block of the court.

The memorial primarily honoured the work she did for women with Rabbi Holzblatt saying “Justice did not arrive like a lightning bolt, but rather through dogged persistence, all the days of her life,” “Real change, she said, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”

Events like this focus attention on how we would wish to be honoured. Impressive as the list of her achievements are, more moving was the personal; her physical trainer who did three push-ups beside her coffin, the women who kissed their hand before touching the casket and her favourite opera singer, Denyce Graves who sang Gene Scheer’s words from American Anthem.

“What will be my legacy, what will my children say?
Let them say of me, I am one who believes in sharing the blessings I receive.”

The conversation about our legacy is important in our work with older adults and their families. Taking the opportunity to put wrong to right and leave our children with the best we can be is an invaluable inheritance and sometimes the most precious is the small and ordinary.