Terminal illness is not a phrase any of us wants to hear. It is, unfortunately, a reality for millions of American families every single year. More than 564,000 Americans will die from terminal cancer diagnoses this year. Furthermore, this is not counting the variety of other illnesses that come with the terminal label.
When people receive this grave news, it forces them to reflect on their life/ Where they stand, their relationships, their family. And the legacy they would like to leave. A finish line is approaching, and it’s no longer about planning for the future as a living participant. However, they can plan for the future even though they may not be physically present. When diagnosed with a terminal illness, we may want to give as much of ourselves as possible. And when an end date is on the horizon, we may want to express our sentiments, fears, and emotions with everyone possible.
Here are some of the most popular letter themes written by people with terminal diagnoses:
- “I’m Proud of You:” For the parents and grandparents that receive the debilitating news, their first instinct is to share with their children how proud they are of them and how proud they will always be. Kids need unconditional love and support from their parents, long into adulthood. If you’re not around to say it anymore, consider a Lifetime Wish video or letter proclaiming how truly proud you are of your children and all they are going to accomplish.
- “I Wish I Had…:” Yes, there is a moment of regret, reflecting on the things in your life that you wish you had done or you had said. However, you still have time to say it. Don’t take a death sentence as a silencing to your emotions. Create cards, poems, and videos of yourself saying everything you have ever wanted to say to the people in your life. Schedule their delivery date for 1, 4, or 13-years from now. You don’t need to feel regretful.
- “I Love You Very Much:” As for the spouses left behind, terminal letters revolve around the sentiment of love and letting spouses know how much you love them – even if you won’t be around to say it. It’s really important to make sure you communicate this information, even if you think it’s implied. Instead of worrying about nuances, proudly state it in a Lifetime Wish, scheduling one every year for your sweetheart to open after you are not here. You want your love to be immortalized.
- “Instructions:” For parents with young kids, or friends with best friends, it’s common to leave letters that go over tips and advice points that were meant to be shared in the future. If you have some parting wisdom you want remembered, be sure to capture it in a Lifetime Wish. Your worldliness doesn’t have to leave this world with you.
Record a lifetime of wishes for the people in your life, left in the wake of your terminal illness. They want to hang onto their memory of you forever – make it a positive one.