Sue Kemple, the CEO of startup My Last Soundtrack, has lots of reasons why she does the work she does. She’s a serial entrepreneur, a creative thinker, a prolific writer, a garage band musician, and a human being who has been through more instances of loss, grief and death than she can count.
But one of her driving reasons for doing this work is that she strongly believes in the power of story. In fact, she has a story to illustrate this point.
“Towards the end of her life, my grandmother used to come from her home in New Jersey to visit my family in North Carolina,” Kemple begins. “I used to joke that I was the one who drew the short straw every time I had to take her back to the airport for her flight home.”
“But it turns out, I was the lucky one. Nana had so many stories to tell me about her childhood, her younger years, her dreams and ambitions, those she realized and the many more she didn’t – so many stories and memories that I never knew. Of course, this was the 1990s. There were no smartphones then where we could just easily record and capture a story forever. I wish that I had invested in a small tape recorder so I had a record of hearing my grandmother tell her stories before she died at the turn of the millennium – stories that, in their way, were also my stories.”
Studies show that as we get older and begin to face the end of our lives, we think more about how we want to be remembered. The digital world we live in often dictates this for us, without our conscious input. The traces we leave on the web are in places both obvious and obscure – in emails, on social media, in online versions of high school yearbooks, in the dark recesses of traffic court and real estate records. Most of us, if given the chance, would like to choose how we want to be remembered, rather than have random pieces on the internet be our legacy.
My Last Soundtrack (MLS) is the coolest tool online to give us the ability to do this – not just so that those who come after us know who we were, what we stood for, and what mattered to us. But also, because our stories are ultimately their stories. This legacy building tool intends to capture people’s lives and memories forever, whether individuals choose to create their own legacy page before they die or choose to commemorate the life of a loved one who has already passed.
The site is designed to be incredibly easy and intuitive, and result is a beautifully crafted page that reflects the intent of its designer. You start with music, because at MLS, they feel music is a powerful way to begin to tell someone’s life story and to express the things that one finds meaningful. But there are also other ways to tell your story… there are spaces to write your biography, to upload photos, to create a slideshow, to convey your values, to muse about life lessons, to leave advice – or just to share memories like your grandmother’s cookie recipe. My Last Soundtrack aims build open, honest and enlightening conversations about death, dying and legacy.
And just because it’s called a “last” soundtrack doesn’t mean it’s the last word when you shut your computer down. Kemple reminds us that you can create a soundtrack, publish it, and go back to it at any point, and continue to update it to reflect the way your life has changed and the way that you’ve grown. Or update and collaborate on pages for your loved ones.
Want to check out My Last Soundtrack for yourself? Go to their website at www.MyLastSoundtrack.com, create an account, and publish your story. Because after all, you have an amazing story to tell. And you should be able to tell it the way you want to.
– Facebook: @mylastsoundtrack
– Twitter: @mylastsoundtrak