Last week, I finally put pen to paper and GOT.IT.DONE.
Cue: jubilation; tears; gratitude and peace.
So what is a Spiritual Will?
A Spiritual Will, also known as an Ethical Will or Legacy Letter, is a letter written to your loved ones (or even lifelong rivals) that puts down on paper all the Big Life Questions (BLQs) like your values, beliefs, lessons learned and family traditions so that you can weave them into your own legacy and strengthen the ties between you and future generations. It’s a way for you to pay it forward, gifting them with your wisdom, knowledge, blessings and dreams so they can carry this with them as they move forward with their life after you’ve passed away.
Why would I write a Spiritual Will?
As the Founder & Head Funeral Guide of Rite of Passage Funerals I see the power that these seemingly simple letters have on your loved ones when you pass away, but truth be told, not nearly enough people know they exist, let alone write them.
I get it, death isn’t something many people think about on a regular basis or plan for when they’re healthy and alive.
But here’s the thing that I continue to see every day in my line of work: accepting that death is a natural part of life and planning in advance for it, even by just ticking a few small things off your list, is a huge gift to both you and your loved ones.
I’ve seen (and experienced) firsthand how confronting death and facing your fears makes you live a more meaningful, enriched and purpose-filled life. While creating opportunities to reflect and leave your legacy can be hugely rewarding and peaceful for those close to the end. It’s never too late.
The reality is that we never know what tomorrow will bring. We all hope to live a long and healthy life, but accidents and illness touch families every day. Imagine the gratitude your loved ones will feel when they read your Spiritual Will – a little slice of you, immortalised in writing, gifted to them when they need it most. Pretty magical, right?
How do I write a Spiritual Will?
The way I teach Spiritual Wills is all about heart; opening your heart, being vulnerable and truthful and exploring parts of you that you might have buried many moons ago. You can download my free template here if you’re keen to get started, as it’s a great place to start.
Here’s a very small extract from my letter to my boys so you can see a ‘real life’ example of how I started my letter.
“To my beautiful boys, Arlo and Kip…
Thank you for choosing me.
Since the day you arrived in my life, Arlo on the 3rd of August 2013 and Kip on the 9th of April 2016, you’ve brought me nothing but joy (and many sleepless nights). You have shown me what it means to love unconditionally; to completely surrender your ego in favour of living a richer, deeper, more meaningful life. You’ve both taught me so much and I hope, through this Legacy Letter, that I’ll be able to leave you with as much of that wisdom as possible.”
The direction you take your Spiritual Will is completely up to you. After the introduction, I chose to separate each child into their own story and then wove them back together at the end. It’s a constant work in progress, but I’m content with where it’s at right now so if anything was to happen to me tomorrow, I know my boys would receive this gift from the heart.
What I do know for sure is that you’re never too young, too old or too close to the end to write a Spiritual Will. The power it has is unrivalled in the ‘life admin’ stakes. So I urge you, please, to sit down and give it a go. What have you got to lose?
Have you ever thought about writing a Spiritual Will? Would you consider it now?