One of the things I remember most about grieving for my brother was deciding to create a photo album/scrapbook of his life. I knew it was going to be hard on me but I also realized that grief ignored or pushed to the back of the mind doesn't go away. It multiplies quickly into something too big to face. But when you work with your grief in a positive way, it becomes "right sized," and something that can bring you closer to your loved one as well as help heal your heart and soul.
Legacy Projects can take any form you can imagine. Tailored to fit who your loved one was and to bring their memories forward in a positive way. Some things to think about when starting a project can be:
What brought that person their biggest joys?
What values did they hold dear?
What were their favorite hobbies?
What kinds of impact did they have on the lives of people around them?
What did they collect or love to read/watch/listen to?
Some forms a Legacy Project can take:
Memory books or scrolls or boxes
Paintings or other types of art collages
Creating a song or poem
A Video or Audio tape
Collection of their stories or life lessons
When you feel ready to start a Legacy Project for your loved one it will help give their life and also your life with them, meaning and it preserves their memories while giving you a sense of control. It can help you feel better and more connected to them as you honor their life and what this person meant to you.
This can also work beautifully with pet bereavement as well. I created a small scrapbook for my Mom when her sweet dog finally crossed the bridge and while it hurt it was also helpful in bringing back forgotten memories that she will cherish.
Find the things that made your loved one unique and think about how best to showcase their legacy for future generations to learn from and enjoy.
I think we all get to certain places in our lives when we start to explore our meaning here on Earth. Usually, these are the harder times in life but sometimes we don't get to them until the end, when we face our own mortality.
Exploring meaning, thinking back on what we have done in our journey can often lead us into creating a Legacy Project. This is a way of taking all the deep inner work and showcasing it for our loved ones to keep - memorializing who we are and who we were for those who come after us.
These projects can be in many forms like scrapbooks or scrolls, art pieces and memoirs. Whatever best expresses who you are and how you wish to be remembered.
For me, when my time comes, I thought it would be nice to have pre-cut paper and art supplies out so that when people come to visit, they can create art with me. Once I have died, these can be collected and put together in a scrapbook or art journal.
But I also like the idea of a Life Journey Journal. I found a simple but well done one on Amazon, My Life My Journey created by Kyle Schaetzl. It divides up the seasons of our life and asks some fun and often deep questions to get us thinking and when done will give others and great idea of who we are and how we lived.
I think a book like this would be a great gift and also something a dying person and their loved ones could work on together as a type of Legacy Project.
What we do in life echoes in eternity - how do you wish to be remembered?
What we do in life echoes in eternity
Soar Eternally Free/Christina Stone
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