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Rekindle Relationships on Send a Card to a Friend Day

A card in an envelope on a table

Life moves fast, and we can end up losing touch with people we were once close to. But we can also experience the magic that happens when you reconnect with a beloved friend and it feels as though no time has passed—even if it’s been decades since you last spoke. Reach out to cherished friends and loved ones this year on “Send a Card to a Friend Day.” This day falls on Feb. 7, and it’s the perfect opportunity to not only rekindle a friendship but to also recall special memories you made together and work toward having the Talk of a Lifetime with important people you’ve lost touch with over the years.

Send a Card

Sit down with your loved ones and talk about people who were important in your life. It can be surprising to think about those friends that you haven’t seen in years. These are the folks who might most appreciate receiving a note in the mail “Thinking of you.” “Miss you.” “Wish you were here.” There are many ways to tell a friend or loved one that you’re thinking of them. If you’re not the creative type, you can always find a preprinted greeting card that expresses what you want to say but can’t quite seem to put into words yourself.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a silly card, a sentimental card, or a religious card. This year, on “Send a Card to a Friend Day,” send something to those loved ones you’ve lost touch with over the years. You may find this simple gesture will open a rich part of your life you didn’t realize you’d been missing. Put your message in the mail or send an e-card. It doesn’t matter which avenue you choose—it’s all about the reconnection.

The Importance of Reconnecting

Whether the person you’ve lost touch with is a relative or a dear friend, re-cultivating that relationship can be very important. When you begin to share stories, you develop an even greater appreciation for that person. Someday, that person will pass away. Don’t find yourself feeling full of regret that you meant to reconnect but never did it. The simple act of sending a note and letting someone know you’re thinking of them can reopen the lines of communication, and the chance to relive those special memories together.

Paving the Way for the Talk of a Lifetime

As you and your friend reacquaint yourselves, you may find a golden opportunity to Have the Talk of a Lifetime. Every person wants to feel they’ve made a difference in the world. When it’s time to memorialize someone who has passed on, you’ll be glad you had this important talk with the ones you love. Learn how to Have the Talk of a Lifetime today.

Thought Provoking Questions Make it Easy to Start the Talk of a Lifetime

Lightbulb on table Have the Talk of a Lifetime is just that – a conversation (or series of conversations) where you really talk deeply with your loved ones about your life, and how you want to be remembered. Sharing snippets of experiences and memories weaves the fabric of your life story together so that the people you care about have something to hang onto, even when you’re gone. Meaningful memorialization planning starts when loved ones talk about their lives. Thought provoking questions seek to uncover what matters most to your loved ones.

Thought-Provoking Questions

It may not seem easy to begin the Talk of a Lifetime. You may want to talk about important memories and milestones in your life, but don’t want it to seem like it’s coming out of the blue. Have the Talk of a Lifetime provides tools and conversation starters. Below is a list of interesting and unusual questions that can help spark some discussions and may help you remember things long-forgotten. In addition to this list, you can also download our free workbook or consider ordering the Have the Talk of a Lifetime Conversation Cards to get the discussion started. The goal is to open up with someone close to you and share meaningful memories and ideas, so you’re sharing a legacy that can live on:
  • If your life story was a movie, what would be the title?
  • What do you love to do? Why?
  • What or who makes you smile?
  • When was the last time you tried something new? What was it?
  • When was the last time you traveled somewhere you’d never been before? Where did you go?
  • What does “home” mean to you.
  • Is there anything you regret not doing in your life?
  • Is there a time when you didn’t speak up when you should have?
  • What do you want people to remember about you?
  • When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Whose life have you impacted the most?
  • Tell me about the greatest adventure you’ve had in life?

The Talk of a Lifetime

These thought-provoking life questions will help launch a conversation about the things that really matter. When you Have the Talk of the Lifetime, you’re laying the foundation that can help make the grieving process easier when you’re gone. Find out more about Have the Talk of a Lifetime now.

How Well Do You Know Your Family History?

Photographs and a camera Every family is rich with stories passed from generation to generation. While some are ingrained in our memories, other important tales may have slipped through the cracks between the hustle and bustle of everyday life. So, how well do you know your family history? Get to know your loved ones a little bit better by having the Talk of a Lifetime. Not only will these conversations strengthen the bond between families in the present, but they ensure that these stories are remembered and shared by future generations, making it easier to celebrate the lives of our loved ones when they are no longer with us.

Why Should We Share Family History?

You may be surprised to learn just how many benefits are involved in sharing the family history. Experiencing the stories of happiness, adversity, and triumph through the words of a loved one is a privilege in its own right. But, these tales may also hold great importance for practical reasons as well. When having the Talk of a Lifetime, you can explore topics such as medical history in a more meaningful way. You can also learn more about what is most important to your loved ones, and how they want to be remembered when they die. Additionally, families can strengthen their connections to one another by having the Talk of a Lifetime. In fact, a study by Marshall Duke and Robyn Fivush from Emory University found that children benefitted tremendously from learning their family history. Kids reported higher self-esteem and a better sense of independence.

How Do I Get Started?

Having the Talk of a Lifetime may seem like a daunting task, but you’ll find that it’s actually a lot of fun! If you are having trouble breaking the ice, consider downloading our free workbook or ordering a deck of Have the Talk of a Lifetime Conversation Cards. These simple tools can lead to big breakthroughs in family communication. Use the workbook to guide your conversation, and write down important or interesting facts. Flip through the 50 different cards to inspire conversations about important events, memorable places, life lessons, and so much more.

Learn More About the Talk of a Lifetime

So, just how well do you know your family history? You’ll soon know more than ever when you engage with your loved ones. Find out more about the Talk of a Lifetime, and start a conversation that brings everyone closer together.

Have the Talk of a Lifetime and Essential Life Lessons

Essential Life Lessons Don’t you wish you’d known then what you know now? Perspective comes with life experiences, and we usually wish we’d learned a lot more of life lessons when we were younger, especially the tough ones. When we Have the Talk of a Lifetime, that conversation when we share the really important things with someone we love, it’s amazing the things we’re able to realize with new clarity. The essential life lessons learned over the course of a lifetime are not just interesting, they’re also meaningful to our loved ones. Think about how valuable that information will be to them later, when all they have are memories.

Life’s Big Truths

Life’s big lessons aren’t really that complicated. Our life experiences help shape us into who we are. We all have a unique life story and many times these stories can share valuable perspective, especially when discussed through Have the Talk of a Lifetime. We discovered perspective from this list of truisms, and maybe you and your loved ones will, too:

Attitude

  • Don’t let your age define you – It’s just a number, right? How many times have you met someone and been shocked when you learn how old they are?
  • Face fear – Fear and worry can actually paralyze us. It’s important to remember that fear is in our mind, and a lot of what we’re afraid of never actually happens or isn’t as bad as we pictured. What are you afraid of? Have you passed that fear on to your children? Did your parents pass it on to you?
  • Embrace failure – If you’re a certain age, you already know this is true: we hate the frustration and disappointment of failure, but that’s when we learn the most, and those lessons bring you that much closer to success. What failure in your life taught you the biggest lesson?
  • Be kind – Even the smallest acts of kindness can make a huge impact on someone else. What act of kindness made the biggest impression on you in your life?

Relationships

  • Relationships first – Ultimately, our relationships with our family and friends are among the only things that matter. Make time to talk to them. Nurture and protect these relationships every single day. Who haven’t you talked to in a while?
  • Manage your anger – Anger is part of life, but we all need to learn how to deal with it in a healthy way. Figure out which strategies work best for you – communication, exercise, cooling off, keeping a journal – whatever it takes, commit to it. Share your thoughts with those closest to you. Happy memories are not the only memories you should share.
  • Grudges only hurt you – The negative energy of holding a grudge against someone doesn’t hurt that person, it only hurts you. Letting go and freeing yourself of a grudge is life-changing. Talking to your loved ones about these situations, and how you moved past them can be a wonderful teaching moment.

Things vs. Experiences

  • Move beyond the material world – We spend so much money accumulating stuff, and we don’t realize how unimportant it all is until we’re packing to move. The less you have, the more you can focus on the things that really matter. As you begin the process of letting go of some of the clutter, invite your loved ones to help you. Take the time to relive and share the memories associated with the items as you pack them up.
  • Experience life – Traveling and trying new things are incredibly satisfying, especially compared to material stuff. Seize every opportunity you can, and invite your family and friends to join you! Keep a journal as you go. It will help you share the memories when you get home.
  • Fun times – You should do something fun and laugh as much as you can, every day! Even when we have to be serious, a little comic relief goes a long way. Sharing your funniest memories is a great way to get the Talk of a Lifetime started. Who doesn’t like to hear hilarious memories from their loved ones?

Life is Happening With Every Moment

The here and now is life, but the past is important, too. If you don’t share it, it’s lost. Do yourself a favor – make Having the Talk of a Lifetime a priority. And take these life lessons to heart as you do, since every day counts! Contact us to learn more.

Your #1 New Year’s Resolution: Have the Talk of a Lifetime

New Years Resolution

Making a list of New Year’s resolutions may seem passé, but admit it, having a fresh outlook for the brand new year can be exciting. If you think of them as goals, resolutions can give you a feeling of promise for the future. This year, why don’t you think beyond the standard list like losing weight, quitting smoking, or staying off social media, and do something totally different?

A New Resolution

Resolve to make 2017 the year you get closer to your family and friends, and let them know about some of the things that have been important in your life. We’re talking about Have the Talk of a Lifetime, an organized and interactive way to share your stories and let those around you know what’s most important to you. Not only do these conversations create a special bond, but they give your loved ones a foundation for memorializing and celebrating your life after you’re gone. No detail is too small – names, photos, favorite songs – all of these things enrich your stories and give them impact. Think about how helpful that critical information will be during the grieving process, and think about the smiles those memories will bring.

Getting Started

Like most resolutions, the hardest part is often taking the plunge to get started. Know this: people like to listen, and they like to share their stories, too. Once you start opening up, you’re going to find that the conversation just flows. It doesn’t have to be formal or awkward. You can simply begin by saying that you’ve been reminiscing and want to share some stories. Download a free workbook to get you started, or get yourself a deck of Conversation Cards to help discover new things about your loved ones. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these conversations became a habit and drew you closer to the people you care most about?

The Talk of a Lifetime

This year, make having the Talk of a Lifetime with your loved ones your #1 New Year’s resolution. Sharing your stories with the people who matter most means they will have that information when the time comes to celebrate your life later, and more importantly, it will bring you closer together today. Learn more about Have the Talk of a Lifetime and how to get started today.

Why Sharing Your Story is Important

Writing In A Journal Day-to-day life seems to be moving more and more quickly these days. Between the onslaught of information we get from the Internet and the pace of communication with our family, friends, and colleagues, it’s easy to forget that we are writing a story with our individual lives. It’s important to occasionally slow down and make the time to Have the Talk of a Lifetime, and share the narrative of your life. You’ll be glad you did. There are photos, memories, and events that we’ll want to remember forever and share with our family. This kind of storytelling creates a thread that can be passed on to your family for generations to come.

How to Write Your Story

We often have the best intentions when it comes to keeping a journal. We get started when we take an exciting vacation or start a new school year, but then it falls by the wayside. Here’s how to create your story: Do What You’re Already Doing – Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email, you’re already documenting important things like birthdays, vacations, and other special moments. Did you know Facebook lets you post things only you can see? This is an easy way to keep your story current. You can save important emails into folders or print them out and put them into binders. And with your photos, put them in folders by date, event, and with file names that let you locate them quickly when you’re ready to sit down with your loved ones to Have the Talk of a Lifetime. Most importantly, be sure to back everything up to an external hard drive or the cloud. Want a physical documentation of your story? Download the Have the Talk of a Lifetime Workbook and journal your experiences! Memory by Memory – As time passes, it’s more difficult to write about when you were younger. Old diaries and newspaper clippings can help you think about meaningful memories to jot down. You can do this in email, or maybe you’d rather use a handwritten journal. You can even think about starting a blog that chronicles your memories! Don’t worry about making it look perfect or even keeping things in exact chronological order. The idea is to let the stories of your lifetime flow however they can so you can share them with your loved ones when you sit down to Have the Talk.

How to Tell Your Story

Your story is always being written. Now it’s time to share it by having the Talk of a Lifetime with someone you care about. Expressing your story is a beautiful way to let people know about things that have meant so much to you. Contact us today to learn more.

Ten Reasons to Trace Your Genealogy

Box filled with photographs Genealogy, or the study of family ancestries and histories, is a fascinating process. Whether you’re using an online resource for research, or a family historian has recorded and kept information, you can’t help but want to know more about the people in your family’s past once you get started. When tracing your genealogy, it’s always best to start by having a conversation with your immediate family. Having the Talk of a Lifetime can bring valuable information to the surface as you begin your genealogical research.

Why Research Genealogy?

  • Curiosity – Let’s face it. We all want to know if we’re related to anyone famous or accomplished. Genealogy is a great way to find out.
  • Health Information – Tracing medical histories through obituaries and death certificates can be helpful when looking for a genetic link to a health condition.
  • Connecting with Relatives – You are most likely related to more people than you realize, and you just might find a long-lost relative living near you.
  • Stories for Children – Giving your kids a backstory to their identity and where their ancestors are from is an incredible gift. This will help them understand who they are.
  • Grieving Process – If someone you love is terminally ill or has recently passed away, delving deeper into their past and learning more about their life can help you and your loved ones cope with the situation.
  • Lineage Groups and Heritage Societies – There are many societies and groups, like Daughters of the American Revolution, which require proof of a qualifying ancestor for membership.
  • Adoption Situations – Finding birth parents or a child given up for adoption is often accomplished through genealogy research.
  • Family Inheritances – Disputes over land, money, and heirlooms can be resolved through proof of a biological link.
  • Family Traditions and Culture – Your family’s unique history and traditions, such as, recipes, holiday events, and family reunions should be preserved.
  • Family Legacy – Passing your family information on to the next generation keeps the past alive.

What Next?

Connecting with the past can make your everyday life richer and more interesting in so many ways. Throughout your genealogical discovery, you’ll find you will want to have even more discussions with your family and loved ones. This is where the Have the Talk of a Lifetime workbook can come in handy, to record some of the most important memories for generations to come. Contact us today to learn more about how a funeral professional can help to get started having this important discussion.

Simplify Your Holiday Gatherings While Creating Memories and Traditions

Wooden Floor with Holiday Trinkets

In the midst of all the holiday madness that seems to begin earlier and earlier each year, it’s easy to forget that we’re creating family memories and traditions with all the things we do (or don’t do). Our visions of a perfectly set table laden with a picture-perfect delicious holiday dinner can come to a screeching halt with the challenges of massive to-do lists, blended families, and over-commitments. Many times, creating traditions and holiday memories just kind of happen by accident. Having the Talk of a Lifetime is a way to make and preserve memories and traditions a primary focus of your holiday this season.

Stay Sane

So how can you create holiday memories and traditions while staying sane at the same time? It can be done!

  • Focus – Take a few minutes, and decide what your priorities are this holiday season. Have the Talk of a Lifetime and reflect on what matters most to you and your loved ones. Chances are, there are some details that take a lot of your time that just aren’t worth it. What will bring you joy and maximize your time spent with your family and friends? Staying up until midnight making homemade pies the night before your celebration may not make the cut.
  • Open Your Table – Invite a friend or someone you know will be alone for the holiday. That generosity is truly a gift for everyone.
  • Delegate – It’s really not realistic (or fun) for one person to handle the bulk of the preparation and cooking. It’s such a treat to taste everyone’s specialties, and it’s a lot less work for the host.
  • Share Your Stories – Make it your mission to plan something special, whether it’s playing the Have the Talk of a Lifetime Conversation Card game at the dinner table or a pre-holiday scavenger hunt. It should involve everyone and most importantly, share people’s stories. These are the perfect moments to hear about older family members’ lives.

Breathe Deep, and Enjoy

It’s funny to realize what people remember from the holidays. Usually, they’re things like the time the dog ate the pumpkin pie off the table or Mom burned the turkey. But, if they take the time to Have the Talk of a Lifetime with older family members, they’ll also know about Grandma and Grandpa’s wedding day and what it was like when they were growing up. Learn more about Have the Talk of a Lifetime by contacting us for more information.

The Importance of Maintaining Family Traditions

A family sitting around a dinner table sharing a meal

In an increasingly fragmented and busy world, family traditions can be a source of strength, joy, and identity for many. Traditions take time and attention, but they are a way to mark important and meaningful times with the ones you love. These traditions are a special gift that can live on with future generations. Have the Talk of a Lifetime with your loved ones today to ensure no tradition is lost.

Family Togetherness

Whether it’s a big yearly reunion or a weekly family game night, traditions bring families together. Sharing time with your family during an important event helps strengthen the bond between even the most far-flung cousins. If your family is too spread out to be able to spend time together often, those special times when you’re able to be in each others’ company are even more precious. Making time to see loved ones isn’t always in your daily schedule, but a routine event like monthly dinners out or getting together at Thanksgiving can ensure that you get quality time with the ones you love. Your special traditions will be something that you share even when you’re far apart.

Something To Hold On To

Family traditions can be a source of strength and comfort, especially for children. Eating certain foods on holidays, telling stories and singing songs, or playing traditional games can help teach the children in your family where they come from and keep that knowledge alive. Passing down stories about those who are no longer with us, stories that can be learned and through having the Talk of a Lifetime, can help children develop a sense of identity and confidence. Having a routine tradition to look forward to can also help instill a sense of security in children; life may change quickly around you, but the things you do together as a family will always be something to come back to.

Making Memories

Everyday memories may fade, but the places and people we see routinely, and the things we do together will last. Coming back to the same place, seeing the same people, and doing the same things can help good times stick in your brain. Even after that time has passed, reflecting on those warm and happy memories can help you in times of grief or sadness. Children may not remember everything, but they will remember vacations to the same beloved spot, family holidays, and even bedtime stories.

Start With the Talk of a Lifetime

When you’re surrounded by people you love at a family get-together, it can be easier to “Have the Talk of a Lifetime.” Share what’s important to you with your family, and talk about what you want to remember. Click here for more information about how to “Have the Talk of a Lifetime.“

You’ve Had the Talk of a Lifetime… Now What?

Coffee Cup Having the “Talk of a Lifetime” helps hold on to generations of family history and events, and it makes people feel that their lives have been meaningful. These conversations don’t have to be awkward; in fact, they’re a wonderful way to find out what’s impacted someone and what unique things are important to them. These answers are the perfect starting point for memorializing someone’s life in the future.

Not Just One Talk

These discussions are not just a one-on-one interview. They should happen naturally when one or more members of a family are together. Children, friends, grandparents – whoever’s there can ask questions and satisfy curiosities. Walks outside, long car rides, and mealtimes are ideal scenarios for having comfortable conversations. If you can, record the audio conversation or make notes on your smartphone or a pad of paper. The Talk of a Lifetime is an ongoing dialogue, not a one-time event.

How it Helps

Have the Talk of a Lifetime can be a gift to everyone. The person answering the questions feels important and loved, and it helps them feel like their lives have made a difference in the world. The information provided creates the basis for a beautiful memorial, which is absolutely vital to everyone’s grieving process. Important decisions need to be made when someone passes away, and knowing what someone wants will make these choices easier and less stressful for your loved ones.

Questions About Planning a Funeral?

After having “The Talk of a Lifetime,” It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed about the idea of planning a funeral, whether you’ve experienced a sudden loss or you have time to plan in advance. You probably have a number of questions. Your local funeral director can be a great help to you because not only do they know all of the laws and requirements of your state, but they are trained to communicate with grieving friends and relatives. They will provide you with all the information you need to make decisions about the service. A clergy person can also be a valuable and comforting resource for you.

The Next Step

Have the Talk of a Lifetime is more than just one heart-to-heart. It really is a series of conversations that bring you closer to a loved one. Imagine a scenario where you feel comfortable creating a memorial service filled with personal touches, thanks to these discussions. When the time comes, you can give your loved one a tribute that helps everyone begin the healing process. Contact us today for more information.