Love, Loss and Family: The Importance of Heirlooms
Modern culture is becoming increasingly minimalist, and many people embrace an aesthetic in their homes that favors sleek lines and uncluttered surfaces. Because of this, children and grandchildren often choose not to keep a deceased family member’s possessions, instead selling them off at an estate sale. Things that would have once been handed down and treasured might now be sold to strangers, as older people die and younger people fail to value the things their relatives have accumulated over the years.
Paring down your own belongings may be virtuous, but is it important to hold onto some things?
In many ways, it is. There’s a sense of history you can find in things that have been passed down through generations of your family, and it’s difficult to convey this history just by talking about it. In a way, the things our grandparents and great-grandparents treasured can give us a feeling of family connection and help us remember our roots.
Of course, your grandchildren may not be interested in keeping every one of your knick-knacks, but you can create meaningful heirlooms they’ll treasure and pass along.
- Scrapbook family memories. By keeping a combination of photo album and journal, you can pass along meaningful moments of your family’s history in a tangible way.
- Keep a journal of your life. After you are gone, the stories and emotions you share in your journal will give family members a way to remember and feel close to you.
- Engrave a piece of jewelry with words that mean something to you. A favorite quotation or saying on a piece of jewelry passed down to a loved one can become a cherished possession.
- Write down the possessions that hold meaning for you and tell their stories. Knowing why these things are important to you can make them more valuable to the people who love you.
- Keep a record of items you want to be given to specific people upon your passing. It’s good to put your wishes in writing so that there’s no question about where you wanted your things to go.
Designating a home for your prized possessions before you die is an important part of getting your affairs in order. Other ways you can make it easier for your family to manage after your death is to keep your records organized and to preplan for your funeral. When you preplan, your final wishes are honored and your family is relieved of the burden of answering difficult questions at an already stressful time.
Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory has been supporting families in our community since 1915. When you’re ready to preplan, call us at (253) 948-9895 for more information, or request your free preplanning guide on our Plan Ahead webpage.