|Is This Morbid or Something Every Mom Should Do?|
I currently have a featured post on CafeMom. This morning I edited the final drafts of ten wills, which was a pretty persistant reminder to myself that I need to write my own will. Like, now. Because you really never know what is going to happen or when and as much as I plan to be the great-grandma with the best stories and the huge garden when I'm really old, I have to face the fact that I could just as easily be taken in a car accident on the way home.
So the need for a will is clear (heaven knows I harp on it enough with my clients). But I also know that I don't want my will to be all that I leave behind. The thought of my children growing up without me is deeply painful, and I know that if I can't be there for them in person, I want to leave behind as much as I can to remind them that I love them more than anything, that I'm always here for them even if only in spirit, and that to always strive to be the wonderful people I know they are.
My first thought this morning, one I had had many times in the past, was to write them each letters - something they could keep and hold, my words that they could always keep with them. I would start with just general letters, just in case the worst were to happen right away, and then I would write more letters to be given to them on special future occasions like 13th, 16th, 21st and 25th birthdays, graduations from high school and college, prom, getting engaged, wedding day, birth of a first child, etc.
So I posted on CafeMom looking for some ideas and input (as I often do when I'm too rushed to write a "real" post for this-here blog), and wouldn't you know it, I got TONS of input. And I got featured. Which probably isn't really anything at all to be proud of, and yet I am...
Some of the answers, though, gave me even better ideas than my original idea. One person suggested doing some video recordings because grown son, who had lost his father many years before, complained of not being able to remember his father's voice.
Another post - many of them, actually - suggested keeping a journal* of letters to the children to be given to them either at some future age, or in the sad even of my passing. Through the journal, you can pass on love and advice and also include memories - sort of like a baby book carried forward.
Yet another suggestion was to do the letters for various birthdays, but plan to give them to the child whether or not you die (that was sort of a Duh! *forehead smack* moment for me ;-)). A similar suggestion was to write letters on each of your childrens' birthdays.
A final suggestion I would like to mention (because I want to do it!) is to record yourself reading a beloved story (hello The Lorax and Oh, The Places You'll Go!!), so that you can read to your kids, grandkids, and beyond, even when you're not there.
That is just the beginning of the discussion, but it has given me SO many wonderful ideas! I know what I'll be doing this weekend! Creating journals for Punky and Flintstone, into which I will also be putting DVDs of messages I want them to have and maybe a story or two!
Lastly, I encourage you, if you decide to join in, to purchase an ethically produced, environmentally friendly journal, like these ones I'm thinking of getting for Punky and Flintstone from The Animal Rescue Site Store:
What would you say in this kind of letter? I'm trying to strike a balance between the really heartfelt "I'm always with you, be a good person" stuff and a little bit of humor (like Tina Fey's Mother's Prayer).
What do you think? What would you write? What occassions would you write letters for? I'm also thinking about doing letters for my parents, brother, and best friends, though in all likelihood I'll never get around to it.
*I don't know why I didn't think of this, either. MacGyver and I have had a journal we've passed back and forth to write things to each other since we were just dating. Though now I wish I would have gotten it from The Animal Rescue Site.