Leaving a legacy of real-life advice can help provide a comforting landscape, especially for grieving children.
You, too, have wisdom to impart. Contemplating death might not be a happy thought, but few acts could be more heartfelt than considering what your experience has taught you—and perhaps recording it on video for your loved ones, just in case.
According to Gaby Eirew, the director of RecordMeNow.org, a free app for doing just that, leaving a legacy of real-life advice can help provide a comforting landscape, especially for grieving children. "There are many questions only a parent can answer," she says. It can also affect you in the now, by giving you the opportunity to sum up your values and reflect on what your relationships have meant to you. A few tips for sharing what you've learned:
Paint a Full Picture
As you offer wisdom, give a sense of the challenges you faced in earning it. Sharing mishaps and embarrassments will give a more complete picture of who you are and remind those you care about that even the wisest among us aren't perfect—and that they don't have to be, either.
Give Your Blessings
Reiterate the importance of great friendships and give permission to love again. Bereaved kids and even spouses may worry that you would be angry at them for letting others into their hearts and having fun again.
For parents, consider the major milestones your kids will hit in the next few years, and do your best to support them through those times. If your children are small, give a quick lesson in tying shoelaces or tips on riding a two-wheeler—skills that loom large in young lives. Meanwhile, being as honest as you can about puberty, dating, or college can help tweens and teens feel understood during young adulthood's emotional firsts.