Losing a Parent – Is It Too Late?

What do you do if your grandparents or parents have passed away? Is it too late to discover their stories? Happily, the answer is no, not entirely. You yourself are a resource if you remember anything about their lives, any tidbits they might have told you. You can ask other family members, searching for clues from surviving spouse, siblings, cousins. Family friends are a great source of stories, too. Maybe there are old photos that are hopefully labeled; you can ask others about them, too. Perhaps the newspaper obituary included interesting information about your loved one’s past. You can also do some genealogy to gather further information.

Unless there is a diary left, for a remembrance of someone who is here no longer a scrapbook may be the best option for recording what you have of their life. Include the photos, a handwritten note or recipe, typed or hand-written stories from your own or others’ memories of them, and any mementos they might have saved. I have a lock of my grandmother’s hair, blond from her girlish days, which I treasure.

So yes, you can scrape together bits and pieces of a life and bind them together to reveal at least a little of who that person was. Something is better than nothing. And what a wonderful tribute to someone you have loved – to keep their memory alive not only for you, but for future generations of their family.


About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
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