Everyone regrets something at the end of a long life, even if it is just not telling friends and family how much they meant to them. A letter-writing project seeks to help people alleviate some of those regrets.
Doctors and other professionals who care for the elderly who are approaching the end of their lives often report that their patients are full of regrets. They regret everything from not mending a broken relationship to not saying thank you to those who helped them and not telling people how much they love them.
This should not be surprising as there are many things people wish they had done differently during their lives. One of the tragic things for those near the end of life, however, is that they often do not have the time or ability to tell loved ones what they regret not saying sooner.
The New York Times reports on a new project designed to help with that problem in "Writing a 'Last Letter' When You're Healthy."
The Stanford Friends and Family Letter Project is a relatively simple idea.
It offers a free letter template with seven questions for people to answer. The questions include "Who do you wish to thank?" and "What do you wish to thank them for?"
This simple idea provides an easier way for people to order their thoughts and let people know how they feel.
One thing this project does not address is estate planning.
Having a properly planned estate is one way to lessen end-of-life regrets as it gives comfort in knowing that family members left behind will be taken care of. If you do not have an estate plan, then contact an estate planning attorney about how to get one.