Personal Legacy

Many people take comfort at the end of life engaging in the process of leaving a legacy.

For many people, their personal effects are an important part of their lives and are expressions of who they are. Sentimental objects, pictures, books and other things that people own can create a sense of comfort and connection that can help them during a difficult time. This is especially important for patients in nursing homes or hospice facilities.

Giving away possessions can also be a meaningful way for patients to come to peace with their death and connect with family and friends. Ask the dying person if this is something they want and help them facilitate it if they do.

For some, starting a journal and writing down thoughts and stories for family and friends gives them a purpose and an opportunity to reflect on their lives and share their values with those left behind. Writing cards, posting messages on social media, sharing pictures or music are some of the ways to leave a legacy and help loved ones to grieve.  

Consider writing an ethical will, a written document that expresses a person’s values, life lessons, and hopes and dreams for the future. It’s an expression of love and forgiveness to share with family, friends, and community.