Creative Ways to Pass Along Family History and Values: A Guest Blog from Hospice of the Western Reserve

Each of us hopes we make a difference in the world. One of the most rewarding ways to pass along family history, traditions and values that will be treasured by future generations is by creating a legacy piece.

Legacy projects can take many forms and can be customized to reflect each person’s preferred way of communicating. Drafting letters, recording a video, compiling music, creating a family recipe album, writing an autobiography, sewing an heirloom quilt, creating a scrapbook or memory box… any of these can be effective ways to speak from the heart and pass along your legacy.

Care teams from Hospice of the Western Reserve work with people every day to create personal legacies, but anyone can create them at any stage in their life. Creative inspiration can come from many sources: family history and traditions, personal philosophy, fondest memories, proudest achievements, most enjoyable pastimes… these are just a few of the themes that can lead to the creation of a meaningful legacy piece.

Some feel writing a legacy letter also provides an opportunity for self-reflection, a way to share private thoughts and personal values. Taking time to sift through photos, old letters and mementos can have a pleasantly therapeutic effect as pleasant memories are reignited.

The creation of ethical wills can also be a wonderful intergenerational project. Younger family members frequently help with the creative process and execution while elder members have the opportunity to tell the family’s story and share the family’s rich heritage.