Included in your will, stored in your safe deposit box, or simply left in a location to surprise a loved one on a future occasion, legacy letters allow you to articulate all you yearn to express and all you might regret not having said. Getting your affairs in order goes beyond making sure your finances are in order. Your loved ones will cherish your heartfelt words for the rest of their lives, perhaps even more than any material possessions you leave. If you have a need for healing a relationship, moving beyond difficult situations or emotions, reassuring someone of your love, or explicitly expressing deep appreciation for the presence of another, legacy writing is for you.
Sample excerpt, legacy letter: “One of the greatest gifts anyone can give those they love is implicit trust in their choices and decisions. You encouraged and believed in me, and you also provided clear boundaries. I look around the world many times and think how lucky I am to have had parents who showed me love and understanding, who supported and stood by my decisions no matter how difficult it may have been to do so.”
Palliating words for terminal illness
When coping with issues associated with death and dying, words are often hard to find. We may long to express appreciation or forgiveness, or to complete our relationships as we face our own death or the death of a loved one. We may wish to leave a legacy of words, or we may wish to let go of a dear one knowing that the words that matter most have been said. At the moment, we may be too full of emotion to gain clarity enough to articulate these healing words ourselves. A letter of significance at such times can bring deep and lasting inner peace.
Sample excerpt, letter from a daughter to her dying father: “This past fall, we visited the farm. Perhaps for the first time, I truly came to see how deeply important that unique, special, beautiful, and cared-for place means to you. From the chicken coop to the wood furnace, and everything in between, you delighted in it all. That farm is as intrinsic a part of you as if you were born with its magic inside you.
I was born with your magic inside of me, and I am writing in the hopes that I can find the words to make you see how deeply important you—unique, special, beautiful, and caring you—mean to me.”
Wedding or bridal party gifts
When the right gift is hard to find, a custom-written letter of joy, appreciation, or commemoration is the sort of memento each person involved in your wedding day will treasure forever. Tell your bridal party member, spouse-to-be, future family member, member of the clergy—or anyone who plays an instrumental part in your special day—the importance of their unique presence in your life, and you will be giving them a priceless keepsake gift that transcends material worth.
Sample excerpt, bridal party letter: “But the most wonderful gift of all is what you mean to me. Your love, support, and all we’ve shared and will share in the years to come, are deeply significant in my life.”
Commemorations for birth or baby shower
A new mother may be too busy to chronicle the experience of the birth of her child. Capturing that unique story preserves the wonder of a birthing day in a singularly beautiful way. Indeed, there may be nothing more sought after than a so-called Story of Meas a child grows, and, for parents, this account represents a great deal more than the nostalgic comfort of reflection upon bringing a child into this world. If you are an expectant parent, or would like to purchase a most unique and one-of-a-kind baby gift, a keepsake letter to celebrate the miracle of life promises to be valued for a lifetime.
Sample excerpt, poem to a child: “Precious child, may you go forth / To greet the world with grace and strength. / Grow to know your inner worth, / Live life well in all its length.”
Keepsake cards or letters
Do you treasure a friend or family member? Do you have a difficult relationship with a relative? Do you want to enhance a special occasion such as Mother’s or Father’s Day, a birthday, an anniversary, or Valentine’s Day? A carefully worded expression of love, appreciation, or forgiveness is far more meaningful than a pre-printed card, and can reach the heart of the one you love as deeply as they have reached yours.
Sample excerpt, Mother’s Day card to a difficult mother: “Motherhood is a many-faceted role that contains immense joys as well as incredible challenges. Today, I am thinking of your role as my mother, and want to appreciate just a few of your many facets—and how they have influenced and benefited me as your daughter.”
Sympathy card or thank-you notes
Mother Theresa says, “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” After experiencing a loss, or after doing a good deed, what fills our human need for connection better than acknowledgment, gratitude, or empathy? When you find it difficult to put pen to paper, By My Pen offers meaningfully written cards, custom-written to be far more treasured than any preprinted material.
Sample excerpt, sympathy card: “How do I say what is in my heart? I can only suppose, from the grief I perceive you to be suffering over the loss of Susan, that you understand the great gift your friendship has been in her life.”
- Editing services for memoirs, books, short stories, term papers, and other written documents.
- Creative writing workshops for seniors.
- Custom-written press releases, cover letters and resumes, letters to the editor, letters of recommendation, biographies, speeches, opinion pieces.
Press release excerpt: “Big Mama Jubilee, a two-and-a-half-year-old bulldog/pit bull mix proved an enthusiastic and skilled first-time participant in the New York State Skyhoundz Disc Dog Championships on November 6th, placing first in the Novice Freestyle division and second in the Distance and Accuracy division.
Just two years ago, Jubilee was slated for euthanasia at an animal shelter in Troy, NY, but the staff at the facility worked hard to try to find a home for her. That’s when . . . ”
Cover letter excerpt: “I am an experienced, capable, and effective provider of human services dedicated to working with individuals—of any age, and across a broad range of disability—to facilitate their personal, emotional, and educational growth.”
Letter of recommendation excerpt: “Erin is the quintessential excellent self-motivated and reliable employee. She is calm, thinks clearly under pressure, and has superior organizational and computer skills. She is delightful to work with, has a sense of humor and good interpersonal skills, and communicates clearly with others. She is . . . ”
Speech excerpt: “Part of the rich experience I am certain lies ahead of you will come from all the unique individuals in this room pulling together as a team to make the day’s activities and emotions flow in a positive direction. You are all valued individuals, but it is by learning to work together that you, individually, and all those we serve, individually, will benefit—as individuals, and as a healthy, happy whole.”