The practice of writing posthumous letters has been around for a very long time, dating all the way back to biblical times. References to posthumous letters appear in both the Old Testament (Genesis Ch. 49) and New Testament (John Ch. 15 – 19). In the Medieval 18th century, fathers wrote legacy letters to their sons, as did leaders to their disciples.
Nowadays, posthumous communications are fairly common, including those from famous folks. Children’s book author Maurice Sendak, creator of “Where the Wild Things Are”, wrote a bittersweet goodbye to the world. And who can forget the famous “Last Lecture” video by Randy Pausch. Intended as a legacy for his children, the Carnegie Mellon professor who had incurable pancreatic cancer gave his last lecture in 2007. It was viewed over 16 million times!
Many people take care of their loved ones financially via life insurance policies and wills. But the best gift of all is to give a piece of oneself. Imagine a child or grandchild many years from now reading a note you wrote for him or her, filled with wonderful sentiments, unconditional love and bits of advice about life. As they read, a big smile spreads across their face. That note has become their touchstone, a permanent record of your heart speaking to theirs.
Debbie Gruber (see photo on right) started Heart Writing so folks could create keepsake notes for their loved ones. She tells us...In part, I was inspired by my maternal grandmother who passed away quite a few years ago. In typical grandma fashion, which I am a bit embarrassed to admit, she acted as if I were the most important person in the world. Her unshakable love and acceptance helped create the person I am today. Sure I have photos and memories, and those are wonderful. But I wish I had her words, a note or letter. It would be such a comfort, especially during difficult times, to be able to see, in her own words, just how much she loved me.
www.HeartWriting.com offers a free two-week trial membership. Several paid membership options are also available, including a one-year membership for $28.80.http://www.npr.org/2013/02/04/170757799/sendaks-brothers-book-an-elegy-a-farewell