How people want to be remembered after death revealed in fascinating survey

How people want to be remembered indicates what actually matters most in life

A woman sits in a field looking up pensively into the sky
How people want to be remembered
(Image credit: Oscar Wong/Getty Images)

How people want to be remembered might be out of their hands but this eye-opening survey shows what people value most—both in life and after they pass.

Even at the best of times, it's easy to lose sight of what truly matters in life. So much of our time is spent sweating the small stuff. Whether it's career focus, money, thinking of the cutest outfits to don, or the best skincare routine—we often concern ourselves with the more surface level and materialistic things.

However, it seems that how we'd like to be remembered indicates that what really matters most to us is how we are as human beings. People value a legacy that represents how we were in life as opposed to what we had or achieved.

A survey of 2,000 adults found that the top way people want to be remembered after death is as a good person. Out of those surveyed, 43% want to be remembered as such, a striking majority feeling nothing ranks above. After that, the remaining top five most important ways to be remembered are as kind, caring, loyal, and helpful.

Considering how hard people can be on themselves when it comes to not achieving certain goals in their life and comparing themselves to others, this data should be a reminder of what's really valued in the long run.

Obituaries are seldom written by those they're written about but you can make sure you live a life that's remembered for the right reasons.

The research data was shared with woman&home by Remember a Charity—an organization that aims to encourage people to leave a gift in their will to charity. 

So how do people want to be remembered after death? 

How people want to be remembered after death—top 20

A jar filled with coins, which will be donated to charity, beside a love heart

(Image credit: Towfiqu Barbhuiya / EyeEm/Getty Images)

1.            Good person

2.            Kind

3.            Caring

4.            Loyal

5.            Helpful

6.            Good listener

7.            Loving

8.            Happy

9.            A good husband / wife

10.          Being my own person / true to myself

11.          Good parent

12.          Easy going

13.          Hardworking

14.          Fun / funny

15.          Family orientated

16.          Generous

17.          Witty

18.          Good son / daughter

19.          Patient

20.          Good at my job

As well as these findings, they also revealed that, since the coronavirus pandemic began, 10% more of those surveyed regret not giving enough time to charitable causes close to their heart. This indicates that compared to pre-pandemic life, people are becoming more socially conscious and concerned about their legacy.

Although it's easy to worry about what we might regret most in life, why not prioritize being the best person you can be—that's something you'll never regret.

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.