Jordan Ogren

January 17, 2022

My grandma died last week. Here's one thing that stood out to me...

"How do you feel, Jordan?"

"Well, I'm sad. But for me, one thing stands out: legacy—the impact she left on those close to her. The size of the hole that will be left now that she's gone."

This was my reaction to my dad asking how I felt about my grandma passing this past week. 

It illuminated a truth for me: The primary metric for our lives is our impact on others.

Or, as I said above, the hole we leave in the hearts of those we love.

Think about someone you lost that caused great grief. I'm going to assume they left a large hole in your heart. Life just wasn't the same after they left.

It wasn't because of the things they said or did. It was because of the way they made you feel.

The safety you felt with them. Or the warmth they brought you. It's the intangibles that matter in the end.

Buying gifts for those you love is great. 
Telling them repeatedly that you love them is excellent.
Being there for their baseball games or events is wonderful.

But how you make them feel is what truly matters. 

I don't claim to know the secrets to creating a respected legacy—living a life in such a way that leaves a bowling ball size hole in the hearts of those close to you.

I know for sure that being selfish and only caring about yourself is not a good way to leave a legacy.

Caring for others and putting their needs first is an excellent place to start.

At least that's what I'm doing…

🧠 + ❤️ // JO

P.S. Today is my grandma's funeral. And I have the opportunity to speak for a few minutes and wanted to share that with you below:

Have you ever had a sore throat before?

The kind where when you swallow, it feels like you just ate a handful of knives? I do. I used to have many sore throats as a young kid. They were so rough I would usually stay home from school. And because both my parents both worked, we had to find someone to watch me during the day.

I don't remember if others watched me during my sore throats, but I vividly remember Grandma coming over to take care of me. Why do I remember this? Well, she would do something for me that has always stuck with me. She would always pick up some Mcdonald's fries, and a large vanilla shake for me.

That vanilla shake felt so good going down my throat. It would usually help relieve some of the pain. That was one of my earliest memories of grandma–coming over with a shake to help remove my pain.

It wasn't the taste of the shake that made that memory stand out to me. It's the love she shared with me in those moments that I go back to. And that same love is not gone just because she is gone.

I feel the same love today that I felt 15 years ago when I think of her. To help illustrate this, I will share a piece of writing from Rupert Spira:

Think about your relationship with a child or loved one. 

The objective elements of the friendship are changing continuously, that is, they are always being lost. But what is it that remains throughout? It is love or friendship.

When our companion or child leaves for a trip or even when they simply go into the next room, we have no objective connection with them. But do we feel that something is broken or lost? No, the true content of the friendship remains. Love remains. In fact, all relationship is defined by this quality alone.

Two objects can never meet. Two 'people' can never meet. What we call a meeting or a relationship is only the shining of this shared love.

In fact, it is my experience that when a loved one departs, love shines even more brightly than usual. All that remains is the pure love in which and as which we truly meet.

The same is true of the great parting called death. The apparent other is no longer apparently outside. They now reside in our heart as pure love, which is in fact where they always resided. 

Why would one feel sorrow or regret in such a case? The particular means of celebrating that love, which we had become accustomed to over the years, may no longer be available, but the love itself will be present and available, as always.

Therefore Grandma is not gone. There is no separation. Her body may be no longer be here, but the love I shared, and you shared with her, remains.

That is what I'm holding onto as I grieve and mourn the loss of my grandma. I hope you, too, find the light amid this darkness.

Thank you.