Be Here Then

why and how to write & create an ethical will, hospice card, or other legacy

Archive for the category “Imaginative Legacy Communications”

On the importance of writing the little things

Taking a breather from hospice cards and legacy communications, I found this lovely short article about writing notes on the Good Men Project, and love the idea. Having done similar things myself, often based on little cartoon-like sketches, I can only say this: doing such things cannot guarantee the preservation of a relationship. But it can help.

Sarah, distressed 1
Notice the article says the notes were “written” and remember the emotional power of handwriting:


Using photographs 1.1

This is one of America’s iconic images.  What is it doing on a site about ethical wills and legacy communications?  Well — what do you think of when you see it?  What do you imagine was happening in the woman’s life?  What does it remind you of?  What’s your reaction to it?

Shot by Dorothea Lange in February or March of 1936, it is most commonly known as “Migrant Mother.”  For decades, no one knew who the woman was Read more…

A few words of caution

For most, writing an ethical will feels like a rewarding act of love for family and friends or a spiritual experience.  There are some, however, for whom such work — if done at all — needs to be supported by a counselor, therapist, or other trusted and skilled help. Read more…

The Rule of No — Part II

Let’s continue working with the example we began in Part I, where we noted what the two versions of a sentence shared in common.  What is the main difference between them, do you think?   Read more…

The Rule of No — Part I

Why do we need such a rule?  We are all mostly kind, understanding people, right?  Well . . . sure, most of the time!

In a nutshell, this Rule of No means “do no harm.”  Another way to think of it is “if in doubt, leave it out.”  Many of us probably understand this, and would never deliberately throw a “verbal hand grenade.”  Many of us would never want to write something that we knew would cause hurt, or damage relationships, or create rifts in the family.  Still, it happens, because we are all human, and we don’t always reflect on how we express things. Read more…

Part I: Read this first to get started

Are you one of those who feel overwhelmed by the idea of writing an ethical will or legacy letter?  Are you a hospice volunteer or palliative care nurse wanting to help a patient write theirs, but unsure where to start?  We’ll go through the basics Read more…

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