2012 has started with a lot of planning for death. My grandparents are all deceased now. The challenge of distribuing ancestral meaningful items is still rearing it's head. It's a challenge to find out what would be fair. Who deserves what? What would grandma want? My mom died before my grandma, and my grandma was suffering from dementia. So, stories are lost. Wishes are lost. What am I learning from all of this?
Plan now. Tell the stories. Write them down. If you imagine that something important to you will be passed on to someone, tell them, and tell others, and write it down, and put it in a safe place. If it has a story, tell it and write it down. Memories fail. People who remember the stories die. In the end, the stuff is just stuff. The value of the stuff is in its meaning and story. Find a way to make the meaning more valuable than the monetary value, so everyone in your family can share it and no matter where the stuff ends up, it will all be fair.
Today, Miles said, "My favorite flowers are the yellow ones." Ripley's response was, "I like the white ones."
The internet lasts forever, right? So let me make a plan to write every day. Sometimes it can be about how my day is going. Sometimes about what I learned that day. But also, if I'm struggling for finding something to write, I need to write down stories about the past. These can be from my siblings or dad or my in-laws. My grandfather wrote in a calendar diary every day for years. And that is very nice to read. I want my kids to have it all to look back on.
To summarize, there are two things I learned today (and continue to learn). #1, my grandfather taught me to learn something new every day, and to value learning. #2, he also taught me to find meaning in each day and to share the story with others. Stuff is just stuff. The value that lies in something's meaning is always greater than its cash value.