My father was diagnosed with cancer and given 2 years to live. He was in his early 60’s. I was trying to come around to accepting the diagnosis, as was he, when, 8 days after being told he had cancer, he died. He died still wanting to live, asking where the 2 years went, where his time went.
It was hard. To lose my father like that, it was devastating.
You know what made that time even harder? Having to make decisions for him about his wishes for after his death, without knowing what his wishes were. Having to decide whether to bury or cremate – what would he have wanted? Church service? Flowers? What songs would he have liked to have been played?
Sitting on the computer at midnight the night before the funeral, four siblings who had just lost their father, trying to decide and agree on music for the service. What would he want, what were his last wishes?
It went further than that. Where was his will? We know he had one, but it’s a few years on now, and we still haven’t found it.
Bank accounts – who did he bank with? Social media accounts – what did he want done with these? Didn’t he once say he wanted to leave that piece of jewellery to my brother – I can’t recall. We can’t agree.
You get the point. In our grief, the last thing we need is to be put in a position where we are making decisions for our lost loved ones without having a full understanding of what they would have wanted.
We don’t want to get that wrong. We also don’t want to burden our loved ones with that stress on top of their grief.
So it was after my father passed and after the ordeal of having to make decisions about his last wishes without knowing what they were, that I vowed I would never put my loved ones through that same situation. I would record what my last wishes were and leave that for them, so that when the time came, in their grief they wouldn’t have to play a guessing game around what my last wishes might have been. This is how Life’s Last Wishes was born, and it was born to help us make sure our wishes are known when we die, and to relieve our loved ones of the burden of having to decide for us. Life’s Last Wishes is the single greatest gift you can give you loved ones.
How can you leave a legacy? Here's some pointers to start you off:
- Develop your personal vision statement
- Define your core values
- Be a mentor to others
- Provide a family tree or history
- Leave a will
- Let your life be your message
- Give the greatest gift you can give - Life's Last Wishes
- Write your memoir
- Write a book
- Start a blog
- Pass down heirlooms or handmade items
- Add to your personal vision with a personal mission statement
- Support the people and causes that are important to you.
I hope Life’s Last Wishes can help you to both leave a legacy and leave the greatest gift possible.
“Let your life be your message” Mahatma Gandhi