Letter to Loved Ones (aka Ethical Will)
An “ethical will” is not alegal document; it’s a personal letter or statement about the experiences,values, and beliefs that have shaped your life. You can do this in the form of a letter, an audio recording or a videorecording:
Tips for writing your letter
Write only the letter that you want to write-no longer ormore elaborate. You might want to writeto just one person or two or three-but you certainly don’t need to addresseveryone in your life.
Here are some suggestions to help focus your work and getyour letter done:
· Who do you expect will survive you?
· Who is most important to you? Who would you want to say goodbye, or leavewith one last word?
· Who will be in charge of handling your affairs?
Thoughts about your death:
You might wish to share yourthoughts or visions about death. You canuse this section to describe what you believe this moment will be like foryou. For example:
· Write about your vision of death—of the momentyour soul or consciousness departs from your body. Write about your expectations and beliefssurrounding those moments, whether it be seeing God, becoming part of a greatlight, resting peacefully and free from pain, or any other statement that’sappropriate to your beliefs
· Write about reuniting with loved ones who havealready passed away
· Write about your loved ones learning to fill thespaces that your absence will create.
Messages for your loved ones:
Search your heart and mind for themost important messages you have for each person. It can be an expression of love, gratitude,unresolved conflict, a wish to forgive, or a longing to ask forforgiveness. Ideally, when the timecomes, your last letter shouldn’t contain any big surprises; it will simplyreinforce what your loved ones know to be true.
Your last words:
You may have a poem, quote, drawing,or scripture with which you want to close your letter. You might choose to encourage your loved onesto strengthen their love for one another, building new bonds that no longer includeyou. This is the key that unlocks thedoors to healing the loss of a loved one—and to smooth distribution of anestate.
When you sign your letter, considerusing your private, unique words of love and affection. Do you share special terms of affection withcertain people? Are there nicknames orpet names you’ve used with your loved ones?