The Good-bye Letter, Part 4

Jillian Brasch | December 23rd, 2011

images7This week we’ll talk about the question How do you want them to remember you?

You might want to write about whatever is important in your life, that you want to be remembered for by your child. A couple of days ago, a friend whose mother died this year was telling me about her many talents. She knitted, played the piano, and cooked fabulous meals. She encouraged her children to express their feelings openly. She loved Christmas and spent days decorating the house every year. This was a woman who had six children and whose husband died when many of her children were still young. Even though she worked outside the home to support her family, she provided a rich, warm environment where her children felt safe and loved. As adults, they carry her values. But how many of the details of her life will he remember in ten years? In twenty?

What do you want your child to remember about you?

  • That you served your country.
  • That your favorite part of being a mother was picking the kids up after school and listening to their stories about their day.
  • That your dream was to become a professional saxophone player, but you went to war instead.
  • That you once hit a hole in one.

The memories can be profound, or just fun. It’s how you want to be remembered.

My own father died when I was 18, and mother died when I was 28. There are so many things I don’t remember about them now. I wished I’d asked them more about their lives before they met each other, but it didn’t seem important at the time–I thought they’d live forever, or at least much longer. And now it’s too late. So I encourage you, while you have a chance, to write a little about how you want your children to remember you. And someday, they may be able to tell their children about the qualities their grandparents passed on to them.

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