Things to remember: The Everyday Wonder of what you leave behind


Have you ever thought about what you want written on your tombstone?

Most of us care deeply about how we will be remembered when we depart this life – but we don’t much want to talk about the day the lights might go out.

Today’s episode of Everyday Wonder was inspired by frequent guest James Brownell Williams, who recently took part in the graceful and delicate final journey of a dying friend. “I decided to offer to report anything he wanted to share with his children, with his wife,” James explains. “Every day we would meet. And that was one of the most important things I think I could have ever offered him.”

It was indeed a gift. Few of us take the time to think about what we want to say to those we leave behind. So we’re talking about that – about how we want to be remembered, and what we hope to leave behind when we go.

There’s wonder in pausing to take stock of our lives, and thinking about how our lives today will linger when we are gone.

James Brownell Williams, who thought about legacy with compassion with a dying friend
The City of New Orleans, who has many epitaphs, your favorite depending on how you know and love her

Brett Will Taylor, who got his first clue about how he wants to go out from the The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Renee Peck, who hopes to simply be remembered

Thomas Walsh

Everyday Wonder is a weekly podcast that focuses on conversations about the things that really matter. Read more about it here. Send feedback and comments to Brett Will Taylor at or Renee Peck at


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