We attended the funeral of a lifelong friend’s mother on Monday. It was expected, as she had been declining for weeks. She was 89 and had lived a full, vibrant life. Her children and grandchildren shared their thoughts and memories with all of us as lots of tears were shed.
No one expected the final letter. It was from her – the deceased. She had written this letter back in 1991 and left instructions for it to be read at her funeral. The one chosen to read was her granddaughter. As we waited for her to begin there wasn’t a sound in the chapel. The anticipation was palpable.
I can’t tell you everything she said, but one line I will never forget:
“If you are wishing I had told you I loved you one more time, or that I forgive you or anything else I didn’t say to you – please hold on to it, and I will say it to you when I see you again.”
How kind of her to think of those in her family who may have had regrets. This one sentence took the pressure off of the “If only’s” and “what if’s” and placed them where they belonged. By saying this to her family she communicated more than directions, but a deep love for where they would go from here. She didn’t want them tied to the past, but she set their eyes forward to eternity. What wisdom; what kindness; what love.
How can we emulate her?
First of all, we could take the time to write a letter, like hers, to be read to our family after we are gone. What would you say? How would you choose to comfort them? Such a legacy of love would be greatly appreciated I’m sure. We found an e-book that helps your write your own Legacy Letter. You can purchase if for only $12.95. That’s not very expensive, but to those who receive it, it’s value would be priceless!
Secondly, we read this week on The Generous Wife blog about Dave Ramsey’s Legacy Drawer. The idea is to have one drawer with everything your family would need in case of your death. His website lists the various items to include.
We don’t mean to be morbid, but after spending the week talking about our “What if’s” and “If only’s” it seemed the appropriate post to share with you today. One thing is certain – we will all die. It’s up to us how we prepare our family and loved ones to thrive with no regrets. And putting together such a drawer will help us today to measure our lives against the backdrop of eternity. Are we ready? If not, let’s prepare ourselves because none of us know the day when we will take our final breath. song
Do you like the idea of writing such a letter? How prepared are you to fill a Legacy Drawer? How prepared are you for eternity?