The Importance of Making Your Legacy “Timeless”
We at Hook Law Center aim to emphasize of the importance of planning for your future. Time can bring about a plethora of uncertainties; these unplanned shifts in the course of life often burden those affected with disheartening confusion and overwhelming stress. Proper estate planning can help alleviate the load families and friends inherit when someone passes away. In addition to leaving behind a structured plan for your estate, there also lies significant value in preserving the cherished memories one builds throughout their lifetime. Being able to celebrate one’s life through detailed accounts can deliver comfort to those they leave behind, and the process of sharing one’s own story can also prove to be beneficial to their spirit and mind as they ease into their twilight years.
It is our pleasure to welcome our first guest writer, gerontologist Tanya Krim of Timeless, a legacy storytelling consultancy that specializes in the immortalization of memories through customized, professional-grade Legacy Storybooks detailing one’s life. The following are words from Tanya herself, sharing the experience that has inspired her and her business partner, Jon, to spread the joy and importance of their work:
“Amid the grief experienced in the wake of my father’s recent passing from COVID complications, I paused to recognize my good fortune: I had seized the opportunity to unearth new and timeless details about his life before it was too late. The numerous conversations we shared via Zoom bridged the significant geographical divide (London-NJ), recharged and enriched us. They brought us laughter, joy and emotional connection, and simultaneously created fresh memories coupled with a richer, deeper insight into our family’s shared past.
They also strongly reinforced the value of transmitting family legacy. Because telling stories about our world, our relationships and our lives is a fundamental way in which we create meaning – for ourselves and future generations. They also shed light on the importance of engaging with our elders, gleaning wisdom and values from them – especially in our complex, unsettled world.
From these meaningful hours of talk, I crafted a book, The Man We Love, in honor of my father’s 80th Birthday; a copy of it now resides on our coffee table. Leafing through its colorful, glossy pages, air-kissing some of my favorite pictures of him and recalling his delight with the finished product now offer me great comfort.
Our COVID world has highlighted the need for families to be involved and connected in the lives of their older relatives more frequently and in more diverse ways – wherever they are in the world. Sharing stories is a way to engage with older adults and attempt to reduce the now-rampant feelings of isolation and depression experienced by so many of them. An individual’s personal history, preferences and memories are linked to the tales he/she tells himself or herself, and others, about who they are and where they have come from. Reminiscing and recounting one’s life story when one is older can be enriching, restorative and educative for everyone involved.“
Leaving behind a strong legacy, be that through a well-crafted estate plan or through a detailed account of one’s life, is a crucial part of helping those you leave behind find comfort and peace in the wake of your passing. It is never too late to take action.
Tanya and her business partner, Jon, are now focused on marketing their Legacy Storytelling business, Timeless (www.timelesslives.com) as research studies highlight the healing power of storytelling. Tanya and Jon are both communications professionals with advanced degrees in Gerontology. Their combination of skill and knowledge allow them to get to the ‘heart’ of each story.
Timeless offers warm, friendly, professional, customized interviews (Zoom at the moment) for older adults celebrating a milestone event such as a special anniversary or birthday. A partner and/or adult children are usually the gift givers and decide ahead of time how long or short a book to commission. The storytelling interview process can include an individual’s partner/family members who may have additional information and photos to share. The goal is to use the interviews to craft the individual’s life story and gift them with a beautiful Legacy Storybook about their life.
“Because memory is sacred ground. And the way you shape your story affects not just you, but future generations.”
Tanya can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 1-888-441-0828.
ASK JAKE AND ANGUS
Hook Law Center: Hey, guys! We had a spot of warm weather last week. It has us thinking about Spring! Are you as excited as we are?
Jake and Angus: Of course! Springtime is a refreshing time for all, but each season comes with its quirks. Allergies, open windows, and spring cleaning are some of the sundry things we get to look forward to, but can also pose as hazards to pets. The ASPCA has put together a great article on how to prepare furry friends for the upcoming season that you can read here!