Sunrise, Sunset. Time has wings. Have you ever lost a loved one, whether a family member or friend? Do you have any regrets? Did you have any unfinished business with them? Is there anything you would have shared with them, but time was cut short? If so, then you are in good company.
The failure to communicate is a problem common to all of humankind in this journey called life, even with our cell phones, pagers, email accounts and access to the World Wide Web. Real, lasting communication seems to have gone the way of the lost art of pen-and-paper letter writing. In this post we encourage you to recover that lost art through lasting letters to loved ones (family and friends). Whether you choose to send these letters while you are alive, or incorporate them into your estate plan to be given after your death, they surely will be appreciate by your loved ones.
Memories. ..Remember. Memories are the mental motion pictures of our lives. And given proper encouragement they can be even more vivid, because they are real. Identify three favorite experiences you shared. Can you remember the sights, sounds and smells surrounding your memories of the experiences? Whether special occasions, rich family traditions or spontaneous special moments, bring these experiences to life by engaging the senses and explaining what they meant to you.
Appreciation. ..Thank and praise. It is a rare turtle that finds itself atop a fence post through its own efforts. How have your loved ones helped you, in ways large and small? Perhaps it was the sacrifice of your parent(s) who struggled to provide for your daily needs, usually ahead of their own? Or maybe it was your older brother who helped you with your school work, or taught you how to drive? Thank your loved ones for the investment they made in your life, then praise them for the qualities you admire in them.
Wisdom. ..With the death of every human being, a library of wisdom borne of experience disappears. What have you learned in life's classroom that you can share or spare your loved ones? What have you learned about growing up, growing old, faith, family and work? Remember: Unless you share what you have learned, and even unlearned, your loved ones are as likely to repeat your defeats as they are to repeat your success. And the tuition can be expensive in physical, emotional, financial and spiritual capital. Consider devoting a separate paragraph of your wisdom to the subjects you find most essential.
Conclusion. ..Whether your financial estate is large or modest, the most important estate you have in this life is not in your relationship to things, but to people. Take time today to write your lasting letter to loved ones. Long after any inheritance is spent, your letters will be priceless treasures, perhaps shared for generations to come.
Note: Nothing in this blog is intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties regarding any transactions or matters addressed herein. You should always seek advice from independent tax advisors regarding the same. [see IRS Circular 230.]