Honoring a Memory (in Your Own Way)

Honoring a loved one’s memory is a very personal thing.

Several years ago, my teacher, friend, and mentor passed away. He left behind many people who cared about him a great deal, people upon whose lives he made a major, positive impact.

The people closest to him, the people who were directly affected by his presence on a regular basis, all have different, unique ways of honoring his memory now that he is gone.

Some honor his memory by doing the things he said he wanted them to do. Others honor his memory by doing the things they think he would have wanted done. Others still honor his memory by doing what they want, which is what he usually did, and by following their whims and passions wherever they may lead.

The thing is, none of these approaches are wrong because they are all rooted in a heartfelt, sincere desire to pay respect to the life he led and the lessons he taught.

He was the kind of person who, when he looked at you and truly saw you, it made you feel special, like your life had deep purpose and meaning. Being the person he saw, being this better version of ourselves, that, I think is the greatest honor we can do to his memory.

“As in life, so too it is in budo. As in budo, so too it is in life.”

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body, Severna Park’s Holistic Chamber of Commerce, and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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