Leaving behind a digital legacy for loved ones

Story highlights

  • Technologies are broadening the possibilities of what we can leave behind after death
  • "Most Americans never act on the question: How do I want to be remembered?"
  • You can leave a video legacy or a digital time capsule

One year after her husband died, Janice Gentile received an unusual request from her daughter: make a legacy video about their marriage -- and their lives.

At first, Gentile, who was 72 at the time, was turned off by the idea. The Holbrook, N.Y., resident was still hurting from the loss of her husband, Cesare, who was her high school sweetheart and to whom she was married for half a century. But her daughter, Laura, urged her to make the video that lovingly traced the lives of both parents.
Janice Gentile spent nearly a half-century married to Cesare Gentile, her high school sweetheart.
"It's about both of us -- but since he couldn't speak for himself, I had to speak for him," recalled Gentile, who is now 80 and views this video as a central part of her legacy. All four children received a copy of the 23-minute video filmed in her home by a professional videographer -- and she saved one of the Blu-ray discs for herself, which she pulls out on special occasions and shows to friends who inquire about it.