Our guest blog post is by Reena Lazar and Michelle Pante, co-founders of WILLOW. Through coaching, workshops, conference presentations and soon, an online course, WILLOW provides end of life planning tools to help you write lasting messages to those you love, and understand your options around end of life planning and care. To learn more including details about their next free Vancouver event, visit http://willoweol.com.
Please note: a Heart Will is not a legal will. In order to compose a legal will we recommend seeking professional help from a lawyer or notary.
HOW TO WRITE YOUR HEART WILL
Form + Function
Your Heart Will is a platform or tool to help you reflect on your life and create lasting messages for those you love, and/or future generations. There’s no one way to do this and there are many and varied ways to make this your unique expression. There are endless topics you might choose to address and share. These include your wisdom, wishes, values, beliefs, hopes, dreams, ideals, life lessons, regrets, family history and stories about your journey.
What we’re calling a Heart Will is also referred to as an Ethical Will, Spiritual/Spirit Will or Legacy Letter. You may want a copy of your Heart Will to be given to specific people at the end of your life, it may be something you direct others to share at a goodbye ritual or ceremony after you die, and/or it may become an heirloom for passing on within your family or community of friends. For the radicals in the house, you might even choose to share your Heart Will … before you die!
Identify who you would want to have a copy of your Heart Will, when you imagine it being read, by who or to whom. Use the following themes and their juicy questions to inspire or guide your writing or recording. Read the questions below and mark the ones that speak most to you and begin there. Write for 15 minutes a day, and see what you accomplish in one week. You may craft your Heart Will in handwriting on the first go or you might write many drafts on your computer. If writing is difficult, then use an audio recorder and maybe get someone else to transcribe it later. You may be drawn to capturing your messages in a multimedia file complete with audio and visual components. It all works. Trust yourself and trust your process. Like any “will”, it would be wise to review and update this document as life unfolds and things change for you.
Your Story, Your People
“You have begun; and to make a real beginning is the most difficult act…
A good beginning is half the work.”
John O'Donohue, Benedictus: A Book of Blessings