Legacy Documents - those in Hospice
My new company, Legacy Leaders, provides a service called Heart Strings, literally connecting loved ones with lifelong stories. We provide family members with the peace, love, and comfort of knowing that their loved one has said everything that he/she needs to say - to find peace, love, comfort, and healing at the end of his or her life.
Following the original protocol of Harvey Max Chochinov, Ph.D., a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba and Director of the Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit, CancerCare Manitoba, his Dignity Therapy has been researched and proven time and time again to be beneficial for Hospice Patients, early-stage dementia patients, and assisted-living patients. I had the distinct honor to be trained by Chochinov and ensure that the protocol adhered to 100% every time.
As an accomplished professional, I have spent 40 years in managerial and executive positions before turning my attention to hospice and the field of thanatology (death, dying, grief, and bereavement). I received my Masters of Science in Thanatology from Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and have left the business world to dedicate the rest of my life to ensuring that every person’s story is told at the end of life – providing a gift for all family members.
My expertise and art allow that transformation to happen naturally and as individually as each person - providing the patient and the family with perhaps new insights, thoughts, and feelings as they face the next journey in their lives. After several years of doing Dignity Therapy in Wisconsin, I recently moved my family to Arizona to do Heart Strings full-time and nationwide.
Heart Strings provides a safe, individually tailored environment for hospice, end- of-life, early stage dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease patients, and assisted-living patients.
We review the most meaningful aspects of their lives, leaving final words for family members and loved ones, and gifting them with a legacy document to be shared for generations to come.
The resulting document rises above the daily fray, focusing on overarching and meaningful truths, feelings and insights.
As we grow and age, we have more and more desire as humans to make sense of the world around us, to find our place in it, to know that our lives were meaningful, and to pass those lessons onto future generations.
Heart Strings captures the very essence of the individual: their dialect, mannerisms, and personality.
It is more than a life story – it is the investment in the life of a loved one and the preservation of their memory in the future.
Each of us has a story to tell – especially in a world where families live apart.
That story becomes much more important at the end of our lives when we reflect on our loved ones, our memories, and the life we lived.
Our legacy to our spouse, parents, children, grandchildren, and friends is our departing gift.
This is a unique opportunity in life when you can give a gift of love and receive one at the same time.
So, how can you help? It costs $1,500 to do a Heart Strings document for a patient and another $1,000 to create coffee table books. Word of mouth is the most important key to launching Legacy Leaders. First, tell all your friends and family members. I travel throughout the United States and beyond. Second, your contribution will defray the cost for a patient and family to have their Heart Strings document and will launch the business. My goal is to raise $15,000. This allows families who could not otherwise afford it to have a Heart Strings document for their loved one. Your donation essentially doubles your money:
$100 Donation - This provides a $100 discount for one family on their Heart Strings.
$200 Donation - This provides a $200 discount for one family on their Heart Strings.
$500 Donation - You will provide one family a $500 discount on their Heart Strings and also earn a $500 credit on your own family member’s Heart Strings.*
$1,000 Donation - You will provide one family a $1,000 discount on their Heart Strings and also earn a $1,000 credit on your own family member’s Heart Strings.*
$1,500 Donation - You will provide one family a $1,500 discount on their Heart Strings and also provide for your own family member’s Heart Strings. Essentially, you will be purchasing two for the price of one in this GoFund Me Offer.*
*Airfare and hotel not included.
I’m honored every time a family and a patient allows me to enter their life and provide this service.
Brent A. Birkhoff, MS, CT®, SPHR