Hello! I read all three and these were my thoughts…
Bettina’s is absolutely beautiful. I was so moved by her wisdom and message and wish that some of those sentiments and sentences were in my own letter. I love how she tries to help and comfort the people she’s leaving behind, and I’m sure this was a great comfort to those who loved and knew her.
Kim’s letter is also beautiful. I was happy for her that she was able to distill all the lessons she had learned in life and was able to reflect on her experience. In some ways, (comparing to Bettina’s which was really for others) Kim’s letter felt like it was more for her – for her own account and assessment of what she’s learned. Certainly friends and family will also benefit from her letter and wisdom as well, but I imagine it was a great journey for Kim to write her letter.
I love how Ray used some common everyday terms and places that undoubtedly his family knows and uses. It really felt personal as if he was talking to his family at the dinner table. I also loved how he incorporated his son-in-law, grandchildren and father-in-law. I think for sons-in-law and daughters-in-law to know that they are valued and loved like “original” family members is satisfying and affirming for both them and for the original children. Ray seems very conscientious of his family’s feelings and loving.
I read all the legacy letter examples listed on the home page and I was most impressed by the letter from the lady approaching her 100th birthday. Not only was her mind still sharp, but her life story of fortitude and courage was a beautiful example of how to live in spite of adversity. Hers is the story of many immigrants who achieved the American dream through hard work and determination. Added to it were her love and generosity to her mother and to her step-father even though she did not believe he was a good man. Her resilience in dealing with the loss of independence in old age and her ability to create a new life with new friends at the nursing home were an inspiration. Her wish for her memory to live on is a universal one, and I applaud her helping to make this possible by writing her beautiful legacy letter.
I have mixed feelings about Kim’s letter. It was beautifully written, but it felt creepy to be reading a thank-you to people who came to her memorial service, almost as if she were speaking from the casket. I’m sure I would have liked the letter much better if she’d left that out and just thanked her friends for their love and support. I kept wondering about friends who didn’t attend the service. Didn’t they pass the test of friendship? Would they be sent a letter? Would it be the same one or would it be amended, like “Hey, you didn’t come to the service but I forgive you and love you anyway.”
Overall, I noted the fact that most of the letters expressed love for family and friends, pride in the writers’ offspring, the value of education, and the importance of resilience in life’s tragedies and disappointments.