If you follow The Senior List, you know that we like to showcase unique companies if we see a tool or product that brings value to our readers. Once such company is My Last Soundtrack, a website that allows users to create a lasting musical and biographical memorial without having to know a lick of web design.
Death is inevitable … not that that necessarily makes it easier to accept. As Sir Francis Bacon once said, “It is as natural to die as to be born,” though there is more than one approach to this topic, as evidenced by the following quote from Groucho Marx: “Either he’s dead or my watch has stopped.”
Related: Senior Care: Pre-Planning is Key
It Is a Fact: Death Freaks a Lot of People Out.
But seriously folks, being afraid of talking about one’s eventual and inevitable passing all too often leads to a refusal to prepare for it, which can only result in unnecessary tension.
As the people from My Last Soundtrack might phrase it, the destination may be predetermined, but the journey – ah! At least in part, that is up to us. We should exert control when and where we can. Get that Will written so those you care about will be cared for and your property dispersed as you would choose. Create a Living Will thus ensuring that, if it comes to it, your wishes will be known and respected, simultaneously sparing those who care about you from having to make stressful decisions.
“The Story of a Lifetime ….”
Thanks to My Last Soundtrack, there is an easy, fun and highly empowering way, for anyone of any age, to celebrate their life while acknowledging and then grappling with these practical matters. The unique site offers you a platform for creating your own memorial, with photos and text, so you can tell “the story of a lifetime.” Your story. As the site’s video states,
Death Happens. Grief happens. But you know what else happens? Life happens.”- My Last Soundtrack
Here’s where you can record that life, sharing it with visitors to the site, setting whatever tone you think fitting. Profound? Whimsical? A mix? It’s up to you, and you can always modify it.
Employing the site’s user-friendly software, you can construct your page in as little as an hour. The expectation is that taking this positive action will break down that resistance to dealing with the less-fun but necessary tasks including estate planning and living wills.
Though the appearance and content of each person’s story will be unique, there is one common element: each person’s entry begins with their personal playlist of the music that has shaped or otherwise represents that person’s life. After composing your list, the site uses Spotify to select both 30-second snatches as well as the full-length version of each title, so the viewer can take their pick.
Next, you would be encouraged to upload meaningful photos and, if you feel so inclined, compose a biography, however brief. (Remember, you can take pictures of old photos with your phone or digital camera and upload them.) Weave in recipes, poetry, quotes, whatever is appropriate for you, further personalizing your page with a wide range of fonts and layouts.
How My Last Soundtrack Began
The site is the brainchild of Joe Cannon and Carl Hammerdorfer, both musicians, who share the belief that music and death intersect. Their original plan, which sprouted two years ago, was that each subscriber to My Last Soundtrack would be required to post their own playlist, the contents of which would speak volumes so that nothing else was needed.
By the time the site went live, though, some two months ago, Sue Kemple and Ally Cannon, Joe’s daughter, had joined the team. Sue, a “serial entrepreneur” according to her on-site bio, saw that, while the playlist was essential, providing added image and text options would give the site that much more significance and depth, for both the subscriber and anyone perusing it. Sue understood that, while posting your playlist could be uplifting, the site could be altered to make it more liberating, possibly resulting in a new attitude towards both life and death. Additionally, the extra dimensions would further differentiate this from somewhat similar websites “whose ethos,” Sue observed, “seemed more funereal.”
“Let’s Take the Edge Off of Death ….”
That’s what Sue said to Joe and Carl, when she presented her idea: “Let’s take the edge off of death, the crowning part of life.” Joe and Carl agreed. And the site was born.
I recommend visiting the site and reading the playlists and biographies – especially of the people who have founded and are developing the site. Doing so will not only allow you to put a face – and much more – with a name, but will show you how individualistic each users personal site can be.
Special Offer for our Readers
Once you decide to build a site for yourself or another, this is how it works:
- Create an account, for free.
- Build your site, for free.
- You will be prompted for payment only when you are ready to publish.
- As a further incentive, My Last Soundtrack is currently offering $20 off the usual fee of $77. (Enter this code at website when ready to publish: mlslist.)
- This is a one-time fee; no other fees will ever be charged.
There is a no-refund policy, however:
- If a subscriber is ever unsatisfied about some aspect of the site, the staff will gladly do whatever they can to make that client happy.
- If the person in charge of the site (the subscriber or someone granted permission by the subscriber to handle the site) wants it deleted, that can be done upon request.
Once published, the site can be updated and otherwise altered as often as you like over the years, at no additional charge. There’s no current limit to how much material can be added.
Create a Site for Someone Special
If you visit My Last Soundtrack, you’ll see that there are pages for Gene Wilder and Jerry Garcia. No, they didn’t have the opportunity to create their own pages, but others, who deemed them worthy, did so. You can do the same to commemorate those you admire, respect, love, whether human or otherwise. And, if you want your own site to continue to evolve after you’re gone, you can give permission to whomever you choose to continue to add to or otherwise alter your site, in whatever way you specify.
This would be a remarkable gift, whether to yourself or someone else, not to mention that unknown someone who may benefit from reading your story while listening to your personal soundtrack.
If you have used My Last Soundtrack, we would love to hear from you! Please leave your comments and feedback in the comments sections below.