Now I want to go a little further and start ‘taking care of business’, to save my kids or spouse from having to do all the things my sister and I just did for our mom, when my time to leave this place arrives.
Like asking our children -who are adults now- what material items are important to them and perhaps, why . On that same note, perhaps there is something that I specifically want them to have, write a little not as to why I want them to have it, and adhere it
to the back of it, whether it is an art piece, toy, etc. If the piece is being displayed, my next thought is to get a spiral notebook, or 3 ring binder, or similar item and put a cover on it that will make it recognizable as something to look at when I depart. Show it to them, so they will know to look at it when my time does arrive. If it is all written down, and why, then that should save some emotion and difficulties during a very emotional time.
I have also considered using old trunks. One for each of our children, and putting in each trunk what they want, or what I want them to have – what will fit of course. Then it is all ready for them to just load up and take to their home. This will also be convenient if a stroke, or dementia, or sudden illness happens. One can always put the notebook or binder in the trunk too. I can also add things as I find them, making it easy for me to put items from my ancestors that I may not want to be out in the open on display.
The only drawback are items that need to be in a safe or safe deposit box, but the instructions could be put in the trunk.
Now is also the time to write on the backs of photos, the names of the people in the photo, where the photo was taken and the date it was taken. This is so important, especially of family, as memory forgets , or what we know, does not mean that our children or grandchildren will know. Write It Down On The Backs Of The Photos Now. Don’t delay on this. It would be such a shame to have photos of your grandparents or aunts and uncles or cousins and then your children throw those photos away because they don’t know who those people are in them. (Do this also for friends who are important to your family, so they are not confused as relatives).
Do you recognize anyone in this photo? We only recognize two people. Our kids won’t recognize any of them. There is no one alive anymore who can identify them-at least none that we know of. (I did send a copy to one relative who was able to help identify a few more). But at the time, it was all cousins and uncles and aunts, and all were known. Time stops for no one, so write them down on the back of the photos.