Fallen Stars & Legacy

Death can be devastating, sad, and unexpected. Even if it is anticipated, the thought of knowing one will never share the same experiences with a loved one can pain the heart. A common thread found in beloved public figures when they pass, whether it be expected or unexpected, is their legacy established during life time carries on well after.

Betty White was the pioneer of early television with a career spanning over eight decades. She passed at 99 years old just 17 days shy of her 100th birthday. In addition to her impressive work in front of and behind the camera, her legacy impacted animal welfare, LGBTQ+ rights, and HIV/AIDS awareness, among many others. When we think of legacy, we think of what is left for the family. But Betty left an incredible impact on both the entertainment industry and the American culture by choosing not to have children at a time when that was the expectation of women.

Meatloaf was a humble, best-selling musician, known for his theatrical shows and powerful voice. He put his absolute all into his work. His fans gravitated towards his humility – he made several mentions that he is “just another person.” Meatloaf, born Marvin Lee Aday, tried to make sure that he never changed and treated everyone with the same respect that one would want to be treated with – a perspective not common among multimillion record selling artists. His lifetime legacy included multiple health issues and injuries which point to the importance of planning ahead. He passed with his family by his side.

The fashion industry took a hit early this year, as well, with the loss of Andre Leon Tally, creative director, and editor at large of Vogue Magazine; Thierry Mugler, French fashion designer and creative director of Mugler; and Virgil Abloh, creative director of Louis Vuitton.

When news breaks of these celebrities’ passing, almost instantly, we are flooded with impact statements and memories shared by friends, family, colleagues, and fans. For a short period of time, the forum for sharing grief and respect with perfect strangers opens. Those moments are always special. This is just one example of honoring a legacy in action. Even if it’s just for one day, the scope of impact coming from each of these celebrities is enough to shake hundreds of thousands of people across the entire globe. Rarely does an event’s impact stretch that far. Perspective is important, however, because just as widespread impact for a short duration is powerful, equally important is a smaller scale with longer duration. This can happen in each of our close networks. Those that may not be recognized by Page Six can still be the most famous people in our lives. Legacy is about the richness of an individual’s life. The mark that individual left on the world – far beyond financial. We recognize our loved ones passing every day. We reminisce on memories at every birthday and holiday. Slow down life to remember someone who has passed. That is also how one can honor a legacy.

We all want to know “how” we will be remembered and it starts with how we are living. Implementing succession goals into everyday life optimizes ones ability to focus more on living and creating their legacy. We encourage you to think about your legacy along with this Fallen Stars.