What your loved ones secretly want from you
Have you seen the TLC reality show, “Long Lost Family”? Each episode aims to reunite families — adoptive children seeking their birth parents, people looking for siblings they didn’t know existed, the list goes on.
While each story is unique, two strong themes consistently emerge:
- Every person has been carrying something heavy for years — guilt, rejection, pain, or loss of identity — and longing for restoration.
- Everyone just wants to belong. The show resonates deeply because it speaks to something we’ve all experienced — a need for connection; to experience love and forgiveness.
When someone decides to create a Will or Estate Plan, they often think first about the “stuff” they’ll leave behind. While you may feel a deep sentimental attachment to your china dishes or heirloom furniture, a recent trend suggests younger loved ones may not feel the same. (This was somewhat crudely identified in a recent Forbes article entitled “Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parents’ Stuff”.) Millennials and GenXers have a tendency toward minimalism, are more mobile, and don’t mind buying furniture that’s cheaply made if it helps them achieve a certain aesthetic. What they really want from you is a legacy of love.
Here are three simple ways to leave one:
- Button things up. There can be unbelievable pressure and emotion locked up in executing someone’s end-of-life wishes — especially when financial headaches or loads of personal belongings have to be taken care of. Go the extra mile by eliminating these concerns.
- Put your love into words. Don’t miss an opportunity to share your faith or feelings with the next generation. Communicating a heritage is a gift beyond value. Write it, say it,
- Create a Will that aligns with your heart. Carving out a plan to bless your loved ones and the ministries that have impacted your life, like Phoenix Rescue Mission, is a powerful legacy to leave behind. Let your Will be a gift of meaning and belonging. “We won’t hide them from our children. We will tell them to those who live after us. We will tell them what the Lord has done that is worthy of praise. We will talk about his power and the wonderful things he has done.” Psalm 78:4 NIR