It can be very difficult to write your life story, especially if you don’t know where to start. That’s why we rounded up these quick tips to provide some inspiration.
Start a journal or Word document to capture your thoughts
This is where you should jot down lessons, tips, and important stories you’d like to be kept alive after you’re gone. Try to focus on things you believe will still have meaning for someone in your family 20 or 30 years from now.
Items of value are one thing. Possessions and keepsakes with sentimental value are often irreplaceable. If you have special things with a story (like your mother’s favorite hairbrush or a magnifying glass your dad used when doing crossword puzzles), offer the history and story behind them. For all you know, that item could end up becoming your grandchild’s favorite thing in the world.
The same goes for old or antique photos. We live in an age when photos are so easy now. But you might remember when taking photos, getting them developed, and wondering how they turned out while picking them up at the drug store was an adventure. Mark the back of these classic family snaps with the name, relation, year, and occasion (example: Uncle Peter, 1967, college graduation).
If you want to go the extra mile, make digital scans of these photos, and share with your family now so you can talk about them at your next family gathering.
Mmmm, tastes good!
Make sure future generations can enjoy all the delicious meals and treats you’ve honed to perfection by sharing favorite family recipes. Include the recipe name, list of ingredients, cooking instructions, and any special touches. If you already keep a recipe book, that’s great. Let someone in your family know where it is so they can make mouths water too.
Genealogy and family history
Keep your family tree alive and healthy for future generations by sharing details and stories about deceased family members. Include the name, relation, birthday, favorite memories, lasting impressions, and other thoughts you may have.
Favorite charities and memorialization
Include all the charities and causes that have meant the most to you throughout your life and where you’d want donations to go in your name after you pass. Also, if you want some sort of memorialization (a tree planted in your name, annual marathon, donate a bench to the local dog run in your honor), make those wishes clear.
Good ol’ fashioned letters to your loved ones
This is the chance to let your family, friends, and anyone else in this world know how you feel about them. Each “letter-worthy” person might require a different message to help ease the grief after you’re gone.
Some letter-writing tips: Stay focused, stay positive (unless you were egregiously wronged, it’s rarely a good idea to go negative since this will be a lasting memory of you), and try to make each as personal as possible since this is something they will likely treasure for the rest of their lives.
What’s the one thing a loved one left behind for you that has meant the most in your life?
This article is provided by Everplans — a life and legacy planning company dedicated to transforming the way people get their families organized. For more information, visit: everplans.com.
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