On January 22, 2011, a dear friend lost her life in an accident along with her husband leaving behind their two small children.
As time passed, I was haunted most by a single question: If this happened to me, how would my children ever know what we hoped for their future?
The reality of the accident was horrifying, and inevitably, compelled me to think deeply about my own life. I was haunted by these questions:
- What if this was me?
- What if my children were left without parent(s)?
- Who would know my hopes, life lessons, and dreams for them?
- How would their guardians, even with the best of intentions, know which park, which book, which food, is my child’s favorite?
- Which of our family and friends would be an active and guiding force in their lives, and why?
- Would they remember what song daddy sang to them before bed? Where we took them on the weekends? My grandmother’s words of wisdom? Our family recipes, stories and maybe even some family secrets?
As you can imagine, this list could go on and on. I struggled with these questions and more, knowing that life can be taken away in an instant. But at the same time, I had to do something to alleviate the pain I felt whenever I thought of my children, and all that could be missing from their lives.
After pondering these questions, I decided I needed a way to convey my legacy, and I read about mothers (some dying from cancer) who would leave their children videos on various subjects, verbal communication, letters and journaling. I’m doing all three out of the four mentioned.
The point is to take the time NOW to record life's greatest lessons and ensure a lasting connection for our families. It’s my intention for my children to discover these things, not through anecdotes they might hear from others, or through assumptions and best guesses, but through my words and my writing that they can look to for comfort, forever.
I know it can be difficult to express thoughts and feelings about those you love most, but we don’t know what the future holds, and it’s my hope that you use the gift of time to convey your wishes in a way that feels comfortable to you.
Now that I’ve poured my heart out to you, I want you to give this some thought: besides a will and trust where you list material things, what else would you want your children to know or have when you are gone?
Have you started to leave your legacy for the ones you love the most? Please share your thoughts in our comments section!
Only parents’ love can last our lives. – Robert Browning