In Jewish tradition, ethical wills are letters that impart important principles and teachings. Elana Zaiman expands on that concept, turning ethical wills into a means of sharing what is important with anyone in a person’s life, in The Forever Letter.
“Forever letters” aren’t just for one’s children here; they can be written to anyone, in order to share stories, convey wisdom and values, and express things that might be easier to say on paper. They are the documents of one’s lifetime, able to be cherished and reread after their authors have died.
The book offers clear, loving advice and encouragement for writing forever letters, down to what information one should include. Many examples are shared to illustrate concepts such as meeting the recipient where they are and taking responsibility for one’s mistakes.
Zaiman wisely anticipates many concerns people might have about writing their forever letters, such as feeling that they aren’t writers, or wishing to wait until they or their children are older.
She offers thoughtful guidelines for the sorts of values that might be explored in a letter, how to increase the chances of being heard in the spirit with which a letter was written, and pitfalls to avoid. Tips on the writing process and writing prompts will help those who don’t know what to write about or how to focus their thinking.
This lovely book is a thoughtful aid to those who might wish to leave a written legacy for loved ones and provides helpful advice for how to do just that.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.