Last week we talked about when it is okay to help someone to write their spiritual ethical will. This week I want to continue this discussion by talking about how to document someone else’s last thoughts and feelings.
The first step is to set boundaries for your participation in writing a spiritual will for someone else. You need to talk to the person you will be helping about how they want you to document their thoughts and how the will needs to be formatted. For example, you can talk about using a recorder, video camera or other technologies to create the will.
The next step is to decide how you want to document the will’s author’s thoughts. Your options are:
Step three is to schedule when you want to get together to work on the will. Writing a will takes time and generally it is a good idea to break up the process into several shorter sessions that last between 30 minutes and an hour. If time is an issue, then you can provide the person you’re helping with an audio recorder and have them record their thoughts when they re alone, and then you can transcribe the tape for them. This is a good option for people who don’t feel comfortable talking about their feelings in front of others.
The final step is to edit and revise the will. Before you can complete this step you will first need to get the ethical will down in writing. Then allow the person to read the will, or read it to them, and then note the changes that they want.
The writing process for a spiritual will is labor intensive. However, the end product is worth the effort. To help someone get down their thoughts for their ethical will on paper will take at least an hour and generally over 10 hours from start to the finalization of the will.
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