The following is an article from the November 2020 issue of "Get Your Ducks in a Row" Carolina Family Estate Planning's Free Newsletter. You can read the rest of the issue, as well as back issues of our newsletter online at www.carolinafep.com/library/newsletters/ or subscribe for free at www.carolinafep.com/newsletter.cfm
The holidays are often a time for making new family memories and sharing family traditions. But as the coronavirus pandemic continues, the holiday season may look a little different this year. So if you’re not going to celebrate together this year and make new memories, perhaps this is the year to give the gift of past memories?
What Would It Be Worth?
If you’ve ever lost someone you care deeply about, can you recall a conversation you had with them? The sound of their voice? What would you give to hear their voice again?
What if they could speak to you and share their stories and advice? What would that be worth?
Whether you realize it or not, at some point in the future, after you’re gone, someone close to you will miss you dearly. And they will long to hear your voice again and hear your stories.
When he was just eight years old, Scott Farnsworth’s mother died of cancer, but before her death, she wrote a letter to her son. “My mom gave my dad a letter and instructed him to give it to me when I turned 12. As you can imagine, that is one of the treasures in my life to this day.”
If you’ve lost a loved one in the past, I’m sure you can relate.
Tools To Make It Easier
Fortunately, today’s technology makes it easier than ever to capture these stories and memories. Here are a few options to check out:
StoryWorth is a service that helps you write your story by sending you one question per week by email. Once you’ve completed the exercises, your answers are printed and bound in a beautiful keepsake book you can share with loved ones.
Perhaps you’ve heard of StoryCorps. It started at Grand Central Station in 2013 and has been featured in many major media outlets. StoryCorps’s mission is to preserve humanity’s stories.
Even if you don’t want to share your stories publicly, StoryCorps has several great resources available to help you share your stories with family including:
The Great Thanksgiving Listen and A list of Great Questions on a variety of topics that will help you brainstorm stories to share.
Preserve Photos & Videos
If you have family photographs and videos, look into having them digitized and backed up. There are numerous local and national companies that specialize in taking old photographs, VHS videos, and similar and digitizing them for safe storage and backup.
Let Yourself Be Vulnerable
A lot of people are uncomfortable being on camera. Or maybe you worry about what to say or whether you have any important stories to share. Please don't let this hold you back! Consider asking a friend or family member to interview you to make it more conversational and comfortable. It doesn't have to be perfect. Your loved ones will still cherish it. So pick a date on your calendar and commit to getting it done.