N4L 140: “Everyday Legacy” by Codi Shewan


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By Janet Perry, Janet Perry: blogger, and Nonfiction book lover. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.


Codi Shewan, a former funeral director and embalmer, encourages us to live fully today. In his new book, Everyday Legacy: Lessons for Living with Purpose, Right Now, he shares personal anecdotes and no-nonsense insights to show us how to live our legacy rather than just leave a legacy. His book helps us be more intentional and recognize the impact we’re having on others right now. In short, Everyday Legacy is meant to inspire conversations with ourselves and to encourage us to live the way we want to be remembered after death.

What’s the job of a funeral director?

  • Stand in support of those grieving their loss of another human
  • Listen, listen, and (mostly) listen!
  • Hear “echoes of regret” of those left behind
  • Lead with the heart
  • Open people up to experience grief

What can we do to live an everyday legacy?

  • Manage our “echoes of regret”
  • Ask ourselves how we want to be remembered
  • Write our own obituaries
  • Decide who and what is important
  • Tell others how they affect us positively: “My life is better with you in it because…”


  • “Funerals matter to people and people matter to people.”
  • “Legacy is a matter of how you show up.”
  • “There is such a thing as a good funeral that includes ceremony and ritual, meaningful stories, good eulogies—all of these things that are key, poignant parts of a funeral service.”
  • “We have little control over our death, but we’re entirely in control of how we live.”
  • “Every single day we have the currency of time…to spend wisely.”
  • “Controlling ‘echoes of regret’ means saying the things we want to say; it means having experiences that we intend to have; it means sustaining relationships that are meaningful in our lives.”
  • “Legacy is something we leave when we’re dead…When we shift that narrative to something we live every single day, we hold the power to understand the influence we’re having on others in our world.”

BUY Everyday Legacy: Lessons for Living With Purpose, Right Now


Listen to Heather Lende in Nonfiction4Life podcast Episode #39 discuss her book, Find the Good: Unexpected Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer.

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