Joe Cannon, Founder, My Last Soundtrack
I want to use this blog post to explain why and how I created my own last Soundtrack.
As a healthy, active, 58-years young man, why would I want to create a last soundtrack? I don’t appear to be close to the end of my life—though we all know that can happen any time. Of course, I needed to test our software (very easy to use) and I wanted to share something (the marketer in me). But I also thought about the “what if?” What if I was suddenly gone? We take care of our families financially with savings and life insurance. But how do we help them process our loss? How do we leave behind the gifts of music, stories, and advice for our yet unborn grandchildren? How do we help future generations understand who we were, what we loved, our passions? How do we tell stories to our friends after we are gone? How do we help our loved ones prepare our Celebration of Life?
That is the purpose of My Last Soundtrack. It allows someone to take control of their own legacy or create a memorial for someone they love. Some of our Last Soundtracks are for people who know the end might be near. Others are for people already gone – created as a memorial for a loved one.
I created my Last Soundtrack for my family and friends. Even creating it was insightful and made me think about my life – to date and what I hope to do in the future. Friends and family read, listened, and watched my Last Soundtrack, many told me they learned more about who I am. I mostly created my Last Soundtrack for those who survive me – for my family (so they don’t have to create something similar in their hour of grief). I also created it for family who are yet to arrive – my grandchildren and great grandchildren. It will be easy to update over time.
What I didn’t expect was how much I would learn about myself through this process. I learned more about what I valued—and made me want to pass those values on. That is still a work in process and I expect to update my last soundtrack as my thinking sharpens and evolves. It also gave me a chance to tell my stories—if I don’t tell them, who will? I feel more at peace—I have some control over how I will be remembered.
The process of creating my last soundtrack was easy. It was a lot of fun to reminisce on the music and create a playlist for my life. Most songs brought back memories of people and events; a few are gifts I wanted to share. For photos, I just looked through photo albums and the pictures on my computer. I downloaded the Google PhotoScan app to my phone—it’s free and does a professional job converting prints to digital photos. I picked favorites from throughout my life. For stories, I reflected on my life – what stories do I still remember? What stories might someone want to hear? Maybe someday, after I am gone, my family or friends will add to my last soundtrack, but for now, this is good.