I recently coached a darling woman 76 years young. She wanted coaching so she could progress on a variety of things: to exercise more after a hip fracture, to participate fully in her bible study class, to de-clutter, –and to plan her funeral.
Planning her funeral wasn’t a morbid thing. She simply wanted the details taken care of so her family wouldn’t worry. She knew if she took care of the details that her mind would rest. She would know she had taken care of everything she could.
I encouraged her to think beyond questions about the funeral arrangements (burial or cremation, flowers, hymns, etc.) to include information about how she would like to be remembered.
A spiritual legacy is so much more than the physical things left behind. It includes personal values and what makes a person happy in life and what that person loved to give.
She avidly loves to create scrapbooks, so I encouraged her to identify at least three pictures for each of the three big categories in her life: family, friends, and her creative expression through art/painting.
Writing down how she wanted to be remembered felt overwhelming at first. But I knew if she by chose a few pictures with post-it notes beside them that answered these simple questions, that it would communicate a lot.
· What’s important/valuable about this picture?
· Why/how did it make me feel happy?
I encourage you to work with the important older people in your life to do this. It helps preserve who they are and what matters to them.
Have conversations with them. Ask them what they’re most proud of in their life. What were they happiest doing? How would they like to be remembered?
These questions are a way to show respect and love while these people are still in our lives.
May we pursue our paths, honoring each other’s life and legacy,