Elderhood can be a time for reflection, renewal, generativity, spiritual growth, and living life abundantly. It’s common at this stage of life for a person to look at his or her past to make sense of life and to find meaning for the present.
Much of this can become overwhelming without a little guidance. This can become an emotional experience as well as someone in their elder years recounts every detail of their life.
Everyone has some kind of legacy they’re going to leave behind, and it’s important someone like you or a loved one finds a way to make it count. If a family member has no immediate outlet to do this, then you can help them find a way.
So what legacy do you want to leave behind? Here’s some ways to do it for yourself, or for a close family member, so every relative passes it on for future generations.
Perhaps one of your family members isn’t in the best health, and they’re starting to feel depressed about what their life really means. While older people start to find larger meaning in their lives at this stage, they may need some encouragement if they have no outlet to express themselves.
Take some time out to listen to their stories, and encourage them to bring up stories. For a close family member, a good way to start is to bring a digital recorder and record everything your relative says. By playing it back for them, it may encourage more stories, knowing their stories are on record for posterity.
In some cases, though, the elder relative may have trouble trying to find meaning in their life. Help them find the people and causes that are most important to them. This all starts by listening carefully to their stories about the people they perhaps worked with or played a part in their own lives.
You can do this on your own if you’re trying to find your own life legacy. Thanks to search engines, it’s easy to find information on the people who might still be alive who made differences in your life, or a loved one.
It’s here where you need to start exploring the details in what a legacy really means.
One thing to remember about putting together a legacy is that it can sometimes become painful due to challenges in everyone’s life. War memories, especially, are sometimes repressed in older people for decades. Once they start to talk about those memories out loud to process their legacy, it could lead to very emotional moments.
Regardless, this is a healthy process and very essential to help form a lasting legacy. Connecting people who played a part in your relative’s life helps make their legacy all the most meaningful, particularly when recording it through audio or video.
Take the necessary time to make this happen, because it could take time for your loved one to explore every aspect of their life. Reconnecting them with those who played a part in their life could take time as well.
No matter what the legacy is your loved one leaves behind, don’t forget to share it with others. Sharing it with all of your children and relatives (or friends) inspires to make the legacy all the more fruitful in what it does to improve others.
We all know war memories shape how future generations think. Even ordinary life events can help inform others in your family about how to live a better life and doing the same for their children.