Keep your family tree alive and healthy for future generations by sharing details and stories about deceased family members.
When you go, what items or memories do you leave behind so that one day, way in a time ahead of you, those will look back and get a heartfelt moment looking and thinking of their great great grandparent (you) and feel an instant cosmic connection. Look to leave something meaningful behind starting now, go down the line. Here's a starting point:
Write out a list of the following members in your family in a journal, and in a safe place your family will find :
Relation To Person: Maternal Grandmother | Maternal Grandfather | Paternal Grandmother | Paternal Grandfather | Mother | Father |Other (Great Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc…)
For each person include the following info:
Other Thoughts You May Have
Now look to gather:
It's been disregarded in an age all consumed within a digital era, but we need to start going back to the time where printing your photos was the only way to retain memories.
Even though we live in a world of digital photos, every family still has these rare items. Make sure they aren’t lost or forgotten. Plus, imagine how cool it would be for someone in your family three generations from now to know it’s their great-great-great grandma and grandpa in that wedding photo they find in an old album.
For each photo include the location and who’s in the photos. You can also include a Post-it on the back, or make digital scans of the photos and include pertinent info either in the title (Grandmom-Sally-Nord-Ohio-1945.jpg)
Make sure generations can enjoy these delicious meals and treats for years to come. Here’s the info you should include:
Name of Recipe
List of Ingredients
Additional Instructions & Tips
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:
Name of Charity
Website or Phone Number
Notes & Instructions (example: In lieu of flowers, have everyone donate to this cause)
Would you like a tree planted in your name? An annual bike-a-thon? Your name on a brick in front of your favorite team’s stadium? Well then, let your family know!
Write Legacy Letters To Your Family & Friends
Sometimes, there’s nothing more intimidating than a blank piece of paper. Where do you start? What do you write? Will this even get to the right person? Fear not! Your legacy is safe as long as you follow these steps, organize your thoughts, and take your time.
Letter To Everyone
Is there anything you’ve always wanted to share with the world? This isn’t the same as writing your own obituary. This is an informal way to share your thoughts, experiences, special stories, or anything you have in your heart and soul that you want other people to know. This shouldn’t be written to one specific person (we’ll get to that later). It should be something you’d be willing to share with strangers who never met you before. Here are some tips:
If you had to encapsulate your life in 500 words, what would you say? Do you want to inspire people to live their lives? Thank people for showing you kindness during difficult times? Make a few jokes so people remember you in a positive manner?
Be careful if you want to go dark.
You may have felt slighted or treated poorly. While this is terrible, and many people can relate, think twice before asking someone to share something negative. This is how you will be remembered. If you lash out you’re not the one who will feel the repercussions. You’re gone so your family and friends will have to manage the backlash. Remember the old saying: “if you don’t have something nice to say…”
It doesn’t have to be a story.
It could be a list of lessons you learned that stuck with you your entire life. It could be a song that always made you smile, a photo that provided inspiration, or a famous quote that gave you hope. Perhaps there’s a saying or mantra that you’d always repeat to close friends and family. When you’re expressing your genuine emotions, there are no rules.
Tell someone about it.
While you might not want to share this with anyone while you’re still alive, be sure to leave instructions to a specific person so you can be sure your wishes are followed. Whether it’s a handwritten letter or a digital document, leave it somewhere it can be found with instructions on where you want it posted.
Letters To Specific People In Your Life
A lot of people call this type of thing an “Ethical Will,” which is a terribly cold name for something with so much heart. Here’s where you get the chance to let your family, friends, and anyone else in this world know who you are and how you feel about them.
There’s a lot of people in your life, and each person might require a different message to help ease the grief after you’re gone. It doesn’t have to be a novel, but it’s something they will likely treasure for the rest of their lives.
The thought of this letter gives us happy chills and misty eyes, because this is the culmination of all your hard work. Not just in getting a plan together, but in life and what you pass on to future generations. We’re fully aware people share so much through social media, but there’s something special about sharing personal thoughts directly to the people you love written directly from your heart.
Keep Your Plan Up-To-Date
Make sure all of the stuff listed above is neatly organized, updated, and shared in the With an Everplan, you can store it all in the “My Life & Legacy” and “Letters To Family & Friends” sections. All Guam Windward Memorial New Clients are given access to this online platform to help them continue on with the pre-planning process.
To find out more on how you can start creating your Everplan, sign up to attend one of our upcoming Everplan Talks, where we bring in an Everplans professional to go over the platform and more.
As an Everplans client through Guam Windward Memorial, you have will be given bonus resources such as direct referrals to professionals on Guam to help you fill out all the areas necessary in an Everplan, such as your Will, Trust and more.
Sign up for one of our upcoming Everplan Talk Events and reserve your spot to learn more about starting your Everplan with us.