Leaping into a Prismatic Tomorrow

Contributing Writer: Deric Milligan, Inheritance of Hope Co-Founder & CEO

We live life in a linear timeframe. For the most part, we are bound by that reality. We cannot fast forward to a future date or rewind to an earlier time. Or can we?

Leaving things behind for our children has a way of taking us out of the confines of a linear time continuum. Allow me to explain:

Parents with a terminal illness anticipate that they might not be around for important milestones: Birthdays; graduations; weddings; births of grandchildren. What if someone mentally fast-forwarded in time by imagining those events now? Inheritance of Hope encourages families to do just that.

Perhaps you are thinking, “I am going to beat this illness” or even, “I don’t have a terminal illness.” We would be the last to take away from that line of thinking. We would, however, point out that everyone is going to die eventually. It’s a reality that most of us would prefer to push far from our minds. Whether we have a diagnosis or we pretend it is not a reality, each of us is going to die at some unknown future point.

To combat both the reality and the uncertainty, we believe it is possible to put oneself at these events by imagining them now. We can put gifts away now. We can prepare messages to be delivered later.

I have seen this at work firsthand in my family. My wife was diagnosed when our three children were all under age five. Over the nearly ten years that she battled her illness, she broke out of the time limitations by putting things away for our children. For her, doing so wasn’t sad. It was a way of taking control of something over which she had no control. When she thought about these events, she was truly there. Her imagining was so vivid that it became real for her.

That takes care of fast-forwarding, but what about rewinding time? When our children receive their notes, videos, or gifts on special milestones, they are taken back in time. They think back to their mom doing these things for them many years before.  
What about the present tense? I think this is the coolest of them all. When I deliver the treasures that have been stored up for our children, it is as though their mom is present. The only thing missing is her physical presence. In every other way, she is there. She truly overcame the bounds of time, and so can you!

I think it is interesting to draw a distinction between being present and presence. Kristen is no longer present, and she hasn’t been for years. That’s a reality that the best doctors couldn’t prevent. Kristen’s incredibly strong will and desire to be with her family couldn’t keep her with us. However, Kristen’s presence is felt daily through the legacy she left behind.

Her strong presence is the result of creating indelible memories with us while she was here. She built a community of loved ones around her who still look out for her family even now. She left behind tons of videos, gifts, notes, and letters to affirm her presence after she was gone. As a result, Kristen’s legacy lives on as though she were still here. Her legacy is powerful, and yours can be, too.

Whether you have a terminal diagnosis or not, your legacy is the one thing over which you have absolute control. We have learned things from Kristen and through our experience at Inheritance of Hope, we want to share with you in this library how you can create a legacy that allows you to be present long after you leave this earth. Let’s get to work creating an inheritance for your children’s children!