“A gift, testimonial, compliment, or the like, given as due or in acknowledgement of gratitude or esteem”, is a definition of tribute.

A tribute is different than a legacy. A tribute as stated above is more of a recognition of a life well lived and usually occurs after a person has died. A legacy can be some thing tangible, left behind by a person who has died. Tribute and legacy can go hand in hand, they are different, yet similar.

For instance, when David Bowie died, he left a new album commemorating his life. When Glen Frey died, he seemed to just fade away. Recently at an Eagles concert I attended (I believe the first one since Glen’s death), Glen was recognized for his accomplishments as a writer and performer of music. This particular concert seemed to be dedicated to him. Even though there was no tangible piece–legacy, there was a tribute to him. This tribute began with a story about how he joined the band and then continued with the introduction of Glen’s son as the newest member of the Eagles. Quite an honor for his son and tribute to Glen as his legacy will now live on through his son’s music and voice.

Storytelling about a life past is also an honoring and paying tribute. Every one of us has a story to share or to be shared about us. Our legacy is to create the story through words–letters, music; or with pictures, videos, recipes or collections showcasing what is important to us. Legacy is something we want to be known for.

Imagine creating this legacy while you are alive so you can share a part of yourself your family and friends might not have otherwise known. Imagine the impact this sharing will have while you are alive and then after when you are gone. You live on as you want to be remembered. Imagine paying tribute to someone while they are alive instead of waiting until they have died. Honoring and recognizing each other during life can be quite uplifting and gratifying. Waiting until someone dies, may leave you feeling remorseful, more sad and with regrets.

Each day presents an opportunity for gratitude, recognition and love. What are you waiting for? Who will you show love and gratitude toward? Who will you recognize as being important in your life?



For more check out my book A Graceful Goodbye