My First Blog-  Your Living Legacy
Jan 2016

My First Blog- Your Living Legacy

Welcome everyone to my very first blog post here at Katherine Hahn Forever Photo Organizing.  My original idea for a first blog of the year was to create a blog with a clever and catchy tagline relating  New Year’s “Resolutions” to  photo “Resolutions” and I was going to talk about the ABC’s of photo organizing and to make some suggestions for getting your photo life organized as a priority for your new year.  I think I will save that for my next blog because something happened in my family that made me re-think my plan.

We had a death in the family; the husband of my dad’s cousin passed away, suddenly.  He was 77 years old and lived a very blessed life, but it was a shock nontheless to the family.  This man had done many kind things for me and my family over the years and so I felt very honoured to be able to prepare a memory board and digital photo slideshow for their celebration of life.  It was a very beautiful and moving experience for me.   I could see going through the photos that there was a lot of life and love in the family.  I hadn’t been working on the project very long before these feelings came flooding back to my mind and my heart and my soul about what an awful time this is for families dealing with loss.

So I decided that perhaps instead of blogging about the ABC’s of photo organizing, I would talk about organizing your life- or more to the point- having your personal affairs in order.   If you know me or have read my biography on my ABOUT page on the website, you will know that at the age of 45, I lost my beloved husband very suddenly.  And while he was a professional man (he was a banker), and had a good deal of his affairs in order, there were so many things that he didn’t have in order simply because we never had a thought that his life would come to an end at such a young age.  There were a lot of really difficult things that I had to deal with on my own and decisions I had to make based on conversations Dave and I had when we would be half-joking about “when I die…” .

Part of the reason why I became a photo organizer was because, well I love curating photo collections.  It is something I have done personally for many, many years and not just for my little family, but for my extended family and also as a genealogist. But after such loss and having to go through that difficult process, I know that I don’t want others to have to feel the pressure of having to put these things together at such a difficult and sad time.  Grief is hard enough without having to deal with the practical realities of living life without your loved one.

There are plenty of websites and blogs that offer tips for putting your personal information into a format that works for you. HERE is the my personal plan for putting your life affairs in order.

If I could encourage even one of you to take some steps to do some pre-planning, I will be a happy person.  It is not something that you want to have to go through unexpectedly.   I would encourage you to go through your planning and get together with your family when everyone is in a good and happy and healthy frame of mind.  Yes at the end of the day we all know that one day we will die… we will all die.  But wouldn’t if be nice to know that you left your legacy for your family that could be celebrated.  Wouldn’t it be a kindness that you could give your family… not guessing what your wishes are, but having them already laid out.

Think about it.  Talk to your loved ones about it.  Leave a road map of your personal affairs safely tucked away somewhere for your loved ones and TELL someone where that place is.

And then, your next steps should be to start preparing your “Living Legacy”.  Simply put, a Living Legacy is the way to honour, remember, and carry on a legacy.  And why shouldn’t YOU be a part of creating that?   The other day, I met with a 93 year old client who is beginning the process of creating his “Living Legacy”.  Along with his wife, we poured over the photos representing a beautiful, meaningful life and it was such a thrill to watch them reliving their life’s journey together through their photos.  You can create your Living Legacy at any age. Each year for my children’s birthday, I produce a photo slideshow of their life.  I take what I did from the year before, add my significant photos for the past year and update the slideshow.  That is a Living Legacy and it now takes me only minutes to update each year.  Next week… let’s talk about getting that process started for you.  


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