Ask Dr. Giles: Should I do a motivational recording or video for my wife?

Jeff writes:

Do you think it would be appropriate for me to do like a motivational audio or video for my wife,that she could listen or watch after my demise. My thought is when she feels really down and out and needs reassurance and some motivation woud it be a good thing or would it be something that would prolong her grief. My daughter is already putting together a memorial audio/slide show from my baby years until now. This separate recording between her and I , would it really be of any help or make things more emotional for her to get through the tuff times of grieving. The recording would be loving and up beat and motivational that she’ll make the right decisions. I guess I want to still be here in some way giving her support and letting her know she isn’t abandoned in some way. Thank You Very Much! If any other spouses are out there and read this feel free to pop in under general discussion of your thoughts. Thanks again!

I think your idea about a video is absolutely brilliant! Of course it will make your wife and family cry and miss you, but is that really a bad thing? I believe that’s part of loving relationships: we sometimes long for those who are gone. But besides crying and missing you, they will also be comforted by your face and your voice. Often those left behind worry that they will forget their loved one–that they will forget what they looked like or how their voice sounded. With your video, they can remember. Plus, you can emphasize to them the things you want them most to remember about you and about their relationship with you and about your wishes for them for the future. I think that for your wife to see you laugh or smile or say an encouraging word directly to her after you’re gone may be better than all the grief therapy in the world. I definitely think you should go forward with this project.