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Chapter 16. End-Of-Life Issues > Wills to Live By

Wills to Live By

A will is an important document by which you can make clear to whom you wish to leave your worldly possessions—your stuff. Everyone should have a will. But each of us is more than the sum of the “things” that we have managed to accumulate during our time on Earth. What is important and more enduring are the principles and values by which we live. These are our greatest legacy, and yet many of us, caught up in the details of day-to-day life, neglect to take the time to reflect upon these important matters and even fewer of us take the time to put these important thoughts on paper. These are the words which can, long after we are gone, serve both as a guide to future generations and a continuing close, comforting contact with the people we love.

It should come as no surprise that when in the summer of 2002 nine coal miners, trapped below the surface, faced their own mortality and chose to write messages to their loved ones who, at that time, seemed so far away, these messages were not about “things.” They were about more important matters. Miraculously, all of these miners were saved and got the chance to tell their loved ones in person how they felt. And all of us can do that too. I call these messages “Wills to Live By.” They are not legal documents. They are more important than that. They provide an opportunity for you to tell the people in your life how you feel about them. You can leave an account of the principles and values that you hold dear. You can express your beliefs and your faith. You can also recount some of the stories of your life for others to remember when you live on in their memory. There is no one way to do a “Will to Live By.” Once you start, you will find your own way.


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