Kimberly Best Pens How To Live Forever; A Guide To Writing the Final Chapter of Your Life


Kimberly-Best-How-To-Live-ForeverBy Kimberly Best

Our lives are our stories, our stories are our legacies, and our legacies make us immortal.  Most importantly, we have the power to write that story, all the way to the end. This is the motivating message behind my book, How to Live Forever: A Guide to Writing the Final Chapter of Your Life Story.

I recognized the power of each of our stories when I lost my own grandmother to dementia.  I sat with my grandmother as she lay dying, and I visualized her as a living book, with her back cover slowly closing as she took her last breaths. Though I knew some of her story, I found myself wishing that I knew more. I wondered what she experienced, who she loved, and what secrets she was taking with her as her story closed. I wondered who she’d touched and whose lives were changed for the better because she had been here. Now, years later, her story, at least the parts I know, still lives on in me. Now you know of her, too.  This is the power of telling our stories.

Through my nursing career and now my career as a professional mediator, I still see the power of our life stories.  As a mediator focusing on end of life decisions, I work with many people who do not have important conversations around how they want their story to end, and therefore their families struggle with these difficult decisions. I wrote this book to help guide people in making choices around legal preparation, healthcare decisions, end of life celebrations, and other end of life considerations.  I wrote it so everyone could have an opportunity to leave their story behind for their loved ones and heal relationships before it is too late. I wrote it so that, at the end, no matter the circumstances in life, everyone may have the tools to show up as who they want to be in order to write their best ending.

The questions and suggestions in this book are meant to facilitate conversations to create peace and positive memories surrounding the end of life.  This book also encourages readers to have these conversations before it is too late, and to capture memories and wisdom before they are lost, which is especially important for individuals with dementia or with loved ones who have dementia.   This book embraces the idea that death is like the passing of a torch – an end to one story and a time for the next generation to write theirs. And we do this together. No matter where we are in the process, our stories are a tie to our past and a bridge to our future.

It is my hope that the stories in this book and the questions I have asked you to ponder will help you realize the power of your story and your loved ones’ stories. It is my wish that by choosing to engage with these difficult topics and have these difficult conversations, you can help write a story that is a little clearer, a little more purposeful, and without regret. It is also my wish that having these conversations with loved ones can help to reduce the stigma surrounding Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by highlighting how much our loved ones pass on to us and by honoring their life and legacy. In the end, what matters most is not so much about how long we live but how well we lived.  It’s not so much about what we did but who we were.  It’s not about what we had, but who we touched. I write so that there may be peace – for those passing and for those left who love them.


Kimberly Best RN, MA,  is a TN Rule 31 listed Civil Mediator and TN Rule 31 trained Family Mediator, owner of Best Conflict Solutions focusing on Conflict Coaching, Civil, Family, Healthcare, and Elder Mediation in Franklin, Tennessee. She spent most of her career as a Registered Nurse in intensive care, trauma, and emergency medicine, where she cared for people in extreme need and gained valuable experience in the medical system. Kim attended graduate school at the University of North Carolina Charlotte in Clinical/Community Psychology. She obtained a master’s degree in Conflict Management from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. Kim also trained in Transformative Mediation at Hofstra University and Healthcare Mediation at the University of South Florida and is a working member of the ACR Elder Mediation Professional Development Group. She also serves on the board of the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators.  She is passionate about helping others resolve conflicts in a productive, non-litigious way, and in finding the optimal solution to problems for all parties involved. Kim draws from her unique and diverse experiences and her love of learning to inform her work in conflict management.  She is author of “How to Live Forever, A Guide to Writing the Final Chapter of Your Life Story”.  She is a speaker and trainer on conflict management, transitions and difficult decisions including end of life issues.

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