blogging, Motivational

An Unusual Request

My daughter wants me to write her a letter. Not just an ordinary letter.

She wants me to write a, ‘death’ letter.

Yes, a ‘death’ letter. I assure you this is not a Halloween gimmick. My dear daughter has requested that I write a letter specifically addressed to her that she might read, after we pass away and are long gone. She explains that it will be a comfort to her in her grief.

Do you think it sounds pretty morbid?
It is Halloween, so perhaps death, morbid thoughts, and hauntings, (in the spirit of fun), are in people’s minds. Is it appropriate to think a little more about deathly topics at Halloween?

So now, I face a dilemma re the content of said letter.
What would/should I put into a ‘death’ letter?

  • Heartfelt platitudes?
  • Advice on dealing with tough challenges?
  • Lifestyle tips and tricks?
  • Encouragement that she no longer needs us?
  • Practical suggestions?
  • Things I lamented and how I dealt with them?
  • Unfinished business?

What would you put in a ‘death’ letter?

Have you heard of such a thing?

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146 thoughts on “An Unusual Request”

  1. This caught my attention! Thats a very out the box thinking lol. I guess let your intuition guide you as to what to include in the letter. I’m imagining this in my life lol except that I’m the kid not the parent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I will ask her in my letter to write down every time I was mean, unfear, or that I seemed intransigent. Then I will tell her I am sorry if I was wrong. Never think about yourself a bunch, but think about how to make others happy, so that you will find happiness. Don’t think that happiness is not real, but is a reality that a person should look to experience in the little things of our day. From waking up to a simple cup of coffee to picking up a piece of trash from the floor just because you want the next person in that street to not see it dirty. Be happy, and make a point to always help. The hardest decition of a bird is to throw the little birdie and not know if he can fly! I hope that you can fly my sweet daughters and son, and if you fall do it with style, get up, shake it, do it again. Love mom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the world would be a far better place if we all thought of the next person. This comment from you encapsulates this. “…picking up a piece of trash from the floor just because you want the next person in that street to not see it dirty.”
      Secondly getting up shaking it and doing it again is what I would call resilience. And we all need that. Thank you Chef Freyka.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. An unusual request? Perhaps. I am a little discombobulated by the title ‘death letter” though.
    An unusual request? Consider the injunction, ‘an unexamined life is not worth living.’ An examination of one’s life will have provided clues as to possible ways to fulfill this request. Might I suggest that anticipating such a request, might provide a raison d’etre for the life you’ve lived.
    What else is there? Fame, glory, respect, accolades, shame etc all pass. And so, to take the time to share, across the generations the results of a life examination/reflection is reason enough to blog. Thank you for your thought provoking jdeas, I reckon I’ll be a follower!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right Eugenio, in that it has made me realise that there might be things that are difficult to say in person, but that might be more easily said in print. If it can assuage any negative feelings or grief and it is no problem to write – I love writing so it is not a bother, then I will do it. I have started it already and it is quite interesting to find that I have had no problem coming up with things to write. Do you think you might write such a letter?

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and for your comment. I agree with you that everyone would like help to get over the death of their parents. Grieving is not a fun process, yet everyone has to face it sooner or later. If we can smooth the way for our loved ones, somehow, of course we would want to do that. Thanks for reinforcing that for me. Each person deals with death and grieving in their own particular way. Do you think culture also plays a role in the way people treat death and dying?

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    1. Thank you Appling01. It is quite unusual isn’t it? But having thought about it for a while longer, I think it is eminently sensible and practical. Would you do it?

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      1. Yes. I think it’s a great idea. Not only for your children but possibly friends or others. I linked your post in my blog. I’m not sure if I did this correctly but I wanted to give you credit for this idea. If I did it wrong, please let me know. I don’t want to be a thief.🙂
        It’s https://biblethoughtsnow.wordpress.com
        Thanks 👍

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  4. I think I will try something like this. Not necessarily limited to my children but maybe to others I want to say something to after death.
    I used your blog and linked to it on a blog post I wrote. I’m a little new at this but I wantede to give you credit. It is https://biblethoughtsnow.wordpress.com/2020/11/12/what-do-you-think-about-a-death-letter/
    If I didn’t do this correctly, please let me know. I don’t want to steal your stuff. Anyway, thanks for a thought provoking blogpost.

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  5. This is a great idea (and the wonderful comment thread makes it even better).

    I had a Cunning Plan in mind to offer you; and reading the comments has convinced me that it may not be such a bonkers idea as I had first thought…

    You yourself admitted, “I am sure I will re-write it many, many times”; but you also said “Neat handwriting has never been my strong point”, and, “I think I would have to write it on the computer, as my handwriting is not so neat and she finds it hard to read”.

    The big hurdle here is that none of us knows how much time we have left. With luck, you have much time left; but if that’s the case, what you want to say in your ‘death letter’ may evolve. And then, there’s the problem of ensuring that your daughter actually gets the letter. Relying upon someone else to do that is problematic: what if they die first, for instance?

    So, here’s my idea: create a new, separate, blog here on WordPress. Make it private; invite your daughter to ‘follow’ it – this provides her with an introduction to it, makes sure she (and only she) does have access to it, and then… you create blog posts on it, as and when. But you password-protect them all, with the same password, except for one. That one will be the final post, the one you’ll probably want to rework over time. It won’t be password-protected, but it will reveal the password that allows access to all the other posts.

    The cunning part is: you schedule that final post for some time in the future, on a memorable date; perhaps your daughter’s next birthday, or the last day of the year, or some such. Some date you’re not likely to forget each time it rolls around. And when that date draws near (assuming you’re still alive) you simply reschedule the post for the following year. Meanwhile, you’re adding new (password-protected) posts to the blog. And then, one day, you pass on, and on the following anniversary date, that final post appears, and it unlocks the entire treasure trove.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is such a wonderful idea, Colin.
      I love the complexity and the way it would happen regardless of what happens to me. But would I remember to reschedule it before it goes live? It would lose its element of surprise if I did.
      Adding another blog is more work but I think it definitely has potential.
      My daughter knows the is a file for her on the computer, but the actual letter is on a different device, at present. She is expecting it, so I assume will go and look for it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, that is a drawback to my Cunning Plan; you would need to be disciplined about rescheduling that ‘last post’, or the whole plan could go awry. I’ve rattled my grey matter in search of a solution to this conundrum, but the best idea that’s dropped out is for you to set an annual recurring alarm on your dumbphone (assuming you have one) to remind you to reschedule, perhaps a month before it’s due to go live each time.

        Another flaw in the Plan would arise if you were still in the land of the living but no longer able to use a computer. This is, sadly, the situation my elderly mother is now in; whereas once she was quite adept in using her PC, her memory now fails her. The constant ‘upgrades’ changing this and that haven’t helped. Were such a situation to arise, you could unschedule the last post and make your daughter an administrator on the site, which would allow her to access all you’d written at a time of her own choosing.

        I have no children of my own, but if I had, I think I’d run with this idea myself. I think it would be a neat way of keeping in touch with my child(ren). WordPress automatically sends notices to email followers when a post is published, so over the coming years they’d get intermittent reminders that I’m thinking of them. Of course, not all posts would need to be password-protected…

        Thinking ahead: if your daughter has children herself, she could use the same site for the same reason. Assuming that the ‘upgrades’ don’t change things beyond recognition in the future, the site could become a long-term evolving heirloom, much like the ‘family bible’.

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  6. The idea struck me as ‘weird’ when I first started reading your post. But then it quickly became a really cool idea. I read through some of the comments – great ideas. Since there is so much to write about, I imagine that it would just go on and on as you would add things you think about. PeNdantry’s idea with different blog posts is an interesting one.

    I’d definitely write one. I can’t tell for certain, but I think it sparked inspiration in me to write one of these for some people in my life. I think it’s only fair that your daughter did something, too. As you mentioned – maybe a video. It’s natural for parents to leave this planet before their kids but that’s not always the situation.

    As someone who had lost their parents, I will let you know what I would like to know (I know that you already have a document with important information, so I won’t mention that).
    – family stories/secrets (when I was younger, it was not appropriate to share some stuff with me, then, I wasn’t really interested, and then it was too late) that can relate to lineage and/or family recipes (which you mentioned you already are doing)
    – important to you memories of the two of you (I know what I remember but it would be nice to know what they remembered about me)
    – life lessons

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such precious suggestions! Really great ideas. I can see that memories of events by the deceased could trigger off many fond memories in the living. My daughter and I often chat about things like this. Particularly about our dog that has been deceased for a number of years. She likes to remember past times that brought joy. Having a large photo record to tap into also helps her. The photos keep those memories alive instead of fading into oblivion. It is often hard to remember my own kids when they were babies. The videos we made at the time are fantastic to watch, even if the quality is poor and my hair was sooo bad……

      Liked by 1 person

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