After our online life: creating a digital legacy

My parents kept all their important documents in one of those accordion-style file folders. If there's a fire, my father told me, grab it. Today, our lives have gone digital. We keep many of our important records online: texts, emails, documents, music, photos and so much more. We live online through social media like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Snapchat to mention a few of the more popular sites. We bank online. We shop online. We work online. We communicate online. Everywhere we go online, we have an account. Over time, we leave a trail of digital footprints or what end of life planners call your "digital assets".

What happens to those digital assets when you die? That depends on you. Understanding the terms and conditions of the sites you use and making arrangements to leave in place, delete, download, or transfer ownership of your assets to your loved ones is an important part of creating your "digital legacy".


When I have fears that I may cease to be

by John Keats


When I have fears that I may cease to be

Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,

Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,

Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;

When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,

Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,

And think that I may never live to trace

Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;

And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,

That I shall never look upon thee more,

Never have relish in the faery power

Of unreflecting love—then on the shore

Of the wide world I stand alone, and think

Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.


Death found an author writing his life.. Designed & done on stone by E. Hull. Printed by C. Hullmandel. London, Dec. 1827.

If you died yesterday, how would you want to be remembered?

The first time I was asked that question, I was shocked. It forced me to consider seriously my mortality. And my legacy.

What did I want to be remembered for? Being a nice guy. A funny grandad? A used-to-be teacher? And who would remember me? Would I simply leave it up to chance and hope that my loved ones all knew what was important to me and remembered me in the way I'd hoped? Or would I share my story -- my legacy -- with them now? I needed a plan, and end-of-life plan (EOL).

Writing Your Legacy Letter

As a storyteller with a passion for life story and an end-of-life planning, it was inevitable that I would combine my passions and turn to legacy writing. After studying the subject and coaching people in their own end of life reflections, I decided to create a space for people to create their own legacy.

To facilitate this, I came up with my 5-step process that anyone can learn. In one 75-minute workshop, you will be given time to follow this process and create a draft of your legacy letter to gift to a loved one of your choosing.


TESTIMONIAL FROM A RECENT PARTICIPANT

"Writing a Legacy Letter is a must-do. Give the gift of being present to your wisdom, your voice and your legacy. Take the learning and give it away, often. We are only on this earth a short amount of time, share the abundance of your life." C.D. (U.S.A.)


Testimonials from previous participants in the "Writing Your Legacy Letter" workshop:

"I recommend this workshop which is a simple but extremely useful explanation of the steps you can take to write a legacy letter to anyone you would like one to go to. Each step was clearly outlined and explained with examples then time given to think about it in relation to your own situation." J.R. (England)

"Writing a Legacy Letter is a must-do. Give the gift of being present to your wisdom, your voice and your legacy. Take the learning and give it away, often. We are only on this earth a short amount of time, share the abundance of your life." C.D. (U.S.A.)

Michael Williams, legacy coach & workshop facilitator

Michael Williams, Ph.D.

Michael Williams is an award-winning writer, storyteller, and accredited Before I Go Solutions® end-of-life planning and legacy writing coach.

For more information about Dr. Williams' work, go to michaelwilliamsstoryteller.com.

For more information about Before I Go Solutions® and its training programmes, go to beforeigosolutions.com.