Written by: Joe Fiduccia
Have you prepared your Last Will and Testament yet? Are in the process of putting one together? Still thinking about it?
When it comes to end-of-life planning, this one legal document consumes virtually every thought. We spend days, if not weeks, focusing on what to do with our material possessions, like the house, the cars, our bank accounts, and our personal belongings.
And when it is all done and signed, we file our Last Will away and get back to living, never thinking about it again unless forced to.
But, is there something else we are forgetting? Beyond the legal paperwork, is there something that should consume just as much thought and energy as our Last Will?
There is. And it doesn’t cost a dime to implement.
How much time have you spent preserving your story for the future generations of your family?
If you’re like most, you probably haven’t done much at all. In fact, according to a study of 1,000 baby boomers across northeast America, an overwhelming 72% of respondents said they made no effort to memorialize the memories that make up their own life story.
When it comes to end of life planning, we focus so much energy on figuring out what to do with physical items, and often forget about the most important thing in our family’s history: US.
Have you ever asked yourself: “how will my story be remembered in my family’s history?” What traditions will my children and grandchildren carry on? What stories will they remember about our times together?
And what is the advice we want to pass on to our children and even our great grandchildren?
If we do not take the time to start a memoir or somehow document the memories of our lifetime, the answers to those questions are simple: the life we once lived will one-day be forgotten. And we will become nothing more than another random face in a photograph that our future descendants won’t even recognize.
In recent decades, people around the world have engulfed themselves in researching their roots, longing for the stories of our ancestors. We spend years and tens of thousands of dollars just to find a trail of a paperwork that our great, great, great grandparents left behind.
And those who dig deep into their ancestry roots know how difficult finding that information can be sometimes.
So if that is the case, why aren’t we making it easier for our future relatives to know more about our journey? Why aren’t we preserving the milestones in our life and handing it down to them on a silver platter?
Why are we leaving our life story to the fate of other people’s memories, social media accounts, and random databases?
Truth be told, there is no clear answer. There are some who believe they haven’t done anything special in their life, and therefore don’t believe a Footprint is warranted.
Others will say their life is nothing short of mediocre, and that is doesn’t contain any experiences worth preserving. And there are those who just aren’t proud of their life, and would rather just be forgotten.
Whatever the reason, a common theory is that many people just don’t believe they have a story that is worth remembering. And though we live it up, we do nothing to preserve it.
But have you considered this?
Someone, someday, will be eager to learn about the life you once lived. Much like the genealogy buffs of today, there will be someone in your family who will one day spend thousands of dollars and years of research just to find out who you were.
It could be 10 years from now, or 100 years from now. But someone will see your face in a photograph and ask the question: “who is that?” And hence the search will begin for answers to the story that will otherwise be riddled in mystery.
Imagine the look on their face when they unearth your story, written by your own hand.
So when I ask the question: “what have you done to preserve the memories in your life story,” what will your answer be? Will you rely solely on a handful of legal documents and personal possessions to keep your legacy alive, or will you take it a step further?
What will your future descendants uncover when they discover the Footprint you left behind for them?