“Make sure that your life is full of happy memories in the end.” – Unknown
It’s the beginning of a new year and a time to reflect on the past. This has also been a time that I have taken to be sure that things are in order before I pass on. This last summer I went to an attorney and had my will done. Now I’ve been working on the “list.” The list is an itemized list of the things that I have acquired over the years that have special meaning for me. Things like jewelry, photographs, collector items, etc. As I contemplate who to give these items to I can’t help but wonder will they even want them or am I wasting my time worrying about this and thinking about it? Maybe it would be best to just leave it and let those I leave behind figure it out.
My experience concerning this has not been pleasant and I certainly don’t want there to be any fighting over what I did and did not leave to an individual. When someone dies and they were not prepared it can cause problems for the loved ones they leave behind. Isn’t that what having a will does for them? It makes it easier right? So with that thought in mind, my list is made and filed away.
Over my lifetime I’ve received things from loved ones after they are gone and these items, for the most part, held special meaning for me as well. If for no other reason then they thought enough of me to leave me something. This item obviously meant something to them and so I will treasure it along with my memories of them.
The list may change over time, either I will add or delete things and actually, it would be best to give these items to the intended recipient before I am gone so that there won’t be any misunderstandings after I’m gone. When this isn’t possible then I will just have to settle for writing it down and hope that it is respected after I’m gone. I’m not writing about this to be negative or be “Debbie Downer” but it’s a new year, a new page in my life, and something I’ve wanted to get done for some time now. You don’t have to have big and expensive things to think of someone in your life and want to leave them something special just from you. Even if all you leave is a letter or some small item, it’s more about giving that really matters. In fact, it doesn’t really matter if the recipient wants the item or not. It’s the memories that that item evokes in you and with the recipient.
Your kindness challenge for the week is to leave something, a note, an item for someone you care for after you’re gone. It doesn’t have to be to a family member either. “The family we’re born into is important, sure, but they’re not all we have. They’re not all we are. A part of life is making your own family. That’s the beauty of it all! When asked if I have a big family I reply, yes, but most of us aren’t blood-related.” J.M. Darhower. If it makes you happy to give and to leave something for someone else then just do it. Don’t worry if they will want it or appreciate it, it comes from you, from your heart so be happy with the decisions you make.
The greatest gift you can give anyone is the gift of time but when that time has run out the greatest gift you can leave are memories of the time you spent with them.
“The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them away,” Dorothy Day.