One of the hard, but necessary things that we face as a PF patient is our mortality. I am very aware of my shortened life span, and think about every day. This reality guides how I spend my time, energy, and the decisions I make. It also causes me to plan for the future by getting my affairs in order, and taking steps to create meaningful memories for my loved ones.
I want to share some great ideas that other PF patients have shared with me in order to create memories, as well as a personal goal of mine that I have recently accomplished.
- If you have any property with family significance, take photos and record the background, original owner, and the relationship
- Update photo albums
- Make scrapbooks for kids and grandkids
- Indicate who you would like to get certain items and why. I’ve seen people make a list, or write the names on a piece of paper and tape it to the bottom or back of the item
- Gather your favorite recipes and create a cookbook to leave friends and loved ones. They can be handwritten or typed, you can even create your own soft or hardcover cookbook
- Create a storage bin for each child or grandchild with items to give them
- Write letters or journals to loved ones
- Make video or audio recordings. One of the things your loved ones will miss is seeing you and hearing your voice
- Leave special pieces of jewelry for each daughter and granddaughter
- Make a lipstick kiss in the middle of a heart shape and have it framed nicely, or laminated
- Pictures or collage of you with your loved ones
- Buy special gifts for future important days, such as graduation, marriage, birth of first child, etc., and leave for them to be given at a later date
- Record videos of you reading children’s stories to your grandchildren. They can read favorite books along with you when you are gone
- Write about your life growing up. It gives your loved ones a chance to know more about you. I just bought a book, recommended by a PF friend, called “Memories for My Grandchild.” It is like a diary but with pages with pre-defined questions
- It will add to your peace of mind knowing that you gave your loved ones meaningful memories to remember you, and ease their pain once you are gone
- It can be a very enjoyable project, remembering joyful times, and imagining your loved ones receiving these meaningful memories
- You will feel a sense of control in this area of your life, especially when so much is out of our control
You may think that your things or mementos may not matter to some loved ones who don’t seem to care about these types of things right now. Even if you think that some don’t care about keepsakes, they will once you’re gone. They will realize (suddenly) how important your “stuff” is to them. Our things are a way of still connecting to us, and keep us close to them. Even if it’s just a shirt or something of yours; it’s amazing how things change once you are gone.
My Big Accomplishment
About six months ago I was grieving that, most likely, I won’t be here to hold my future grandbabies, and help my children raise them in person. I decided to compile all the parenting workshops I’d given as a Marriage and Family Therapist over the last 30 years into a book for them. I want to have an influence in the lives of my adult children and their future grandchildren, and help them with the challenges of parenting when the time came. Originally this book was only going to be for them. As I wrote, I thought others might benefit as well, so decided to self-publish it.
Today is the day that Give Your Kids a Break: Parenting with Compassion for You and Your Children is released. I’m so grateful to God for giving me the time and stamina to finish it. I’m very happy with how it turned out, and hope my children, future grandchildren, and others who read it will be blessed. I wanted to share this accomplishment most of all with all of you, because I know you understand how important it is to make a positive impact on our loved ones in the future.
Here’s a video where I share why I wrote this book:
It takes courage to face our mortality and take steps to plan for the future.
- We are courageous
- We are warriors
- Our lives matter
- We have a lot to give to others, even after we are gone
One gift of facing our mortality is the ability to take care of business. Please join me courageous PF warriors, and be intentional about creating meaningful memories for your loved ones. I can’t wait to hear your ideas!!!
I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below and share with those who could benefit via e-mail or on social media. We’re in this together!
Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.