I'll pass over the big meanings of life: religion, the afterlife, etc. There are others far more equipped to talk about that. Like the phalanx of priests presiding over the event today.
I'm thinking about the big meanings of life on earth. How you spend your time. Where you choose to fight your battles. Yes, of course Teddy had his flaws and I'm sure Coulter and Limbaugh have been pointing that out lately. Now that he's gone, though, have you noticed how Teddy's flaws have been eclipsed by the history of his actions and leadership? It's impossible for newspapers to adequately summarize his accomplishments, and even those summaries are overwhelming. Almost universally, those accomplishments benefitted those at the bottom of our society. Kennedy used his time and powers in service of making life better for those who often cannot fight for themselves.
Constantly living in the public shadow of his martyred brothers, what has become clear in Teddy's passing is that, in the end, he probably had more influence that either of his siblings on the way Americans live their lives.
It's interesting that the Kennedys are often referred to as American "royalty" and easy to see why: the tightness of the clan, the money, the public scrutiny. The comparison is often meant as a denigration, because in America we don't have kings and queens. Yet it's important to remember what separates Teddy from all that: a lifetime of service. He could just as easily have walked away from Washington; after the death of his brothers, no one would have blamed the Kennedys if they walked away from public life altogether. Teddy and his family represents what can be best in America, that belief that there is a possibility to do good -- not just for those of your own social class but for all Americans -- and fighting to do good despite considerable obstacles. If kings behaved this way, we probably wouldn't have thrown off England's yoke to begin with.
The other big thing I'm contemplating is who will fill a considerable vacuum. Where are the new liberals who come with unlimited wealth and power who are engaging in service for the sake of service? Perhaps that era has passed, perhaps it's for the best that politics not be dominated by single families. Perhaps. Kennedy's life would suggest otherwise. Whatever you think about this, I hope you'll agree that the man's life was inspiring. Maybe you'll be inspired by it and choose a life of service.