The Legacy Project
There are many reasons for putting your stories together for family and friends; here are a few to consider:
to express who you are and how you became that person
to pass on life lessons, health history and wisdom
to pass on family values and traditions
to give your family a sense of where they came from
to tell the stories that may be difficult to share
to experience healing and release through the telling of stories
to tell your loved ones what they mean to you and your hopes and dreams for their future
as a gift for those you love, that they can carry with them after you are gone
Capturing the stories of your family in a Legacy Project is a process and differs from other methods of legacy writing which can go back hundreds of years recording births, deaths and marriages. It is different because the stories stem from experiences you’ve had or have heard from elders, family and friends then goes a step further and captures how those things have inspired or challenged you. It is different because it requires inner reflection.
I have spoken with people who are a little unsure about doing the reflection. They are a little unsure about being vulnerable in this way. It’s important to remember that you have choices to write at your own comfort level. The reflection is for you. If some of your reflection makes it into the stories, they will have more depth. And that depth has impact.
I was so grateful when my aunt asked my grandma Hannah to talk about herself because now, I have all these fabulous stories that make me feel connected to her. My paternal grandparents died before I was old enough to know them and I don't know many stories about them. Because of this, they have turned out to be flat figures in a photo. But the photos I have of my grandma Hannah have depth and meaning because of her stories.
This is why storytelling is so important. This is why digging deep and challenging yourself to write about what is meaningful is such a huge gift, not only to yourself but to others.
THE LEGACY PROJECT
In a Legacy Project, personal stories are shared which give depth and meaning to a shared history. Stories of success and failure. Stories that explain how experiences shaped you and what was learned. In a Legacy Project, values, hopes and dreams are captured for future generations.