A gift to your family, sparing them hard decisions at an emotional time.
Have the Talk of A Lifetime
You talk about everything. You share the big events and small victories. But there's one conversation you probably haven't had and it's time to have the talk about how you want to be remembered. It can make the difference of a lifetime.
There's so much we experience in our lives. There are the big moments that shape us - graduation, a first job, falling in love and getting married, having children, seeing children grow into adulthood. When we reflect on our lives, it's these memories an milestones that may come to mind first.
But a life story is so much more than that. The small moments and people we meet along life's journey are a part of us and helped shape who we are and what we value.
Although we may know about some of the big moments in the lives of our loved ones, we may not know much about the other experiences and people who helped shape them.
Sitting down with our loved ones to talk about their lives can be rich and satisfying. Learning about memorable events and people, places and favorite activities, values and lessons they have learned, can help bring us closer to those we care about most.
Having the talk of a lifetime can make the difference of a lifetime. It can reacquaint us with our loved ones and help us get to know them in a new and different way.
Finding a way to start talking with a loved one may be the most difficult part; however we might find that once the conversation starts, it may be hard to stop.
You can have the talk of a lifetime with anyone you hold dear - your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, a spouse. It can happen anywhere you and your loved one are most comfortable - over a meal, at home, on a walk, while playing a game. The talk can be between you and your loved one, or you could include others, like family or friends. Your conversation can take place at any time - not just at the end of life.
Sometimes, using a visual prompt, such as a photo album, souvenir or memento, can be a great way to start a conversation. Memorable locations, such as the church where your loved one was married or a favorite park can also help someone begin to open up and share their story.
A conversation might start this way: "Mom, I've always liked this photo of you and Uncle Tom. Tell me about what you remember about that first fish you caught." "Honey, I know you and your friends always hung out at Benny's Diner in high school. Has it changed much since you and your friends went there?"
As much as you will gain by getting to know your loved one better, having the talk should be a dialogue. It's an opportunity for you to share some of the ways they have impacted your life and the lives of others.
For example, you could share a memory about a vacation you took together and will always remember, a piece of advice that you cherish, a song that reminds you of them or the ways you will never forget them.
Doing so will help them understand how they have impacted your life. They will see that they matter to you.
365 Days of Healing
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