John R. Bullis: Life review can be a fantastic gift for your family
It might be a blessing to your family if you write (or dictate) a life review.
The normal basics include date and place of birth; names of parents; childhood friends, schools and stories; details about marriage(s); education; designations and awards; jobs, activities, stories and promotions; places of residence; hobbies, interests and activities; charitable, religious, fraternal, political and other affiliations; disappointments (and how you handled them); and other individual attributes.
Wow! That is quite a list to get you started.
A life review can be formal or informal. My uncle Milt Bullis, a CPA, lived in Billings, Mont. He wrote a book and included selected photographs. He had it printed and bound. My copy is a treasure for my family and me.
I asked him how he did that book. He said, “I just started writing one chapter at a time, and I took some time off between chapters.”
Of course, with good video cameras available now, it might be your choice to just do some videos of you telling various stories, etc.
I’m reading volume 2 of Mark Twain’s autobiography. He just dictated whatever came to mind. It is not in chronological order, on purpose. He required 100 years to pass after his death before it could be published.
It has been said that writing and sharing life stories with others is an ideal way to find new meaning in life as events are put into perspective. Most folks who do the life review feel stronger and have a growing appreciation of their lives.
You may have some special old photographs that need to have more information written on the back (names, location, etc.).
Maybe you can pass on some of the ways you solved various problems or the ways you dealt with grief. You may have some suggestions for the younger folks to consider.
Every journey begins with a single step. What if you started working on your life review today?
There are lots of resources to help you, especially at our library as well as on the Internet.
Did you hear? “There is no distinctly Native American criminal class … save Congress.” — Mark Twain.
John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser who has served Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Co. CPAs.