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5 Ways to Preserve Your Parents’ Legacy

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Preserving your parents’ legacy is an important way to honor their memory and continue their impact on the world. No matter what your parents have done throughout their lifetime, their experiences and wisdom can provide valuable lessons for future generations. By taking steps to preserve their legacy, you can help keep their memory alive and ensure that their contributions to the world are remembered for years to come. In this article, we will explore some ways that you can preserve your parents’ legacy and honor their memory. 

Our parents play an instrumental role in who we are. They are the ones who watched us grow and learn about our beautiful, chaotic world. From our first steps, to flipping the tassel on graduation, our parents have been there for cornerstone events in our lives that shaped our perceptions and affected our attitudes and our personalities. When a parent faces a life altering and perhaps limiting illness, it can be very difficult to work through the emotions that come as the toll of the issue. 

Grief looks different on everyone, and a great way to process the deep feelings of grief is to explore different ways of preserving your parents’ memory. Not only will the following strategies help you cope with the grieving process, but they will help you leave behind a beautiful memory of your parents that can be passed on to the next generations. 

  1. Scrapbooking/creating a memory book: Compiling a scrapbook or memory book can be time consuming, but it is a great resource that can contain your parents’ greatest memories. The scrapbook can contain life achievements, special moments and highlights. However, you can even work on this project with your parents if you have the privilege of doing so. Here are some ideas you can include in your scrapbook: 
    • Photocopies of high school yearbooks 
    • Newspaper clippings 
    • Family recipes 
    • Old letters 
    • Ticket stubs 
    • Copies of marriage certificates, diplomas and special achievements 
  2. Interview: A great way to preserve your parents’ memory is by interviewing other loved ones about your parents to get different perspectives about how others viewed them. Sometimes interviews digress into beautiful stories about someone’s life. Memories can fade over time, but by speaking with people who know the person well, we can gain insights and details that we might have otherwise missed. Through these conversations, we can learn more about the person's personality, experiences, and relationships. You can preserve these interviews by capturing them on video, and even adding in some home videos that relate to the stories being shared. 
  3. Record their life story: If you are able, take the time to sit with your parents and record their life story. This can be done through audio or video recordings, or by writing down their memories. Your loved one may even reveal funny stories or anecdotes that others will treasure for a lifetime. Moreover, recording their life story can help you reflect on your own life, gain a sense of perspective and come to a deeper understanding of your own values, beliefs and cultural background. In whatever medium this gets completed in, recording their life story can be a meaningful way to leave a lasting memory. 
  4. Completing a family tree: Creating a family tree can be a great way to preserve someone's memory. By documenting the names, relationships, and important life events of family members, a family tree can help keep their memory alive for future generations. It can also provide a sense of connection to one's ancestors and help to better understand one's family history and heritage. Additionally, researching and filling in the gaps of a family tree can be a fun and engaging activity that can bring family members closer together. Overall, a family tree is a valuable tool for remembering and honoring those who came before us. 
  5. Donate to their favorite charity or place: Donating to someone's favorite charity can help preserve their memory in a meaningful way. By supporting a cause that was important to them, you are honoring their values and passions. This can also bring a sense of comfort and peace knowing that their legacy will continue through charitable contributions. Additionally, donating to a charity can have a positive impact on the world and those in need, which can be a fitting tribute to the person you are remembering. Often times, charities offer naming opportunities for a donation, allowing their name to live on through your gift, such as Gulfside’s Walls of Caring or Butterfly Gardens. Overall, donating to someone's favorite charity can be a powerful way to keep their memory alive and make a difference in the world. 

Gulfside Healthcare Services has three different service lines that can help your family members find comfort and support during the most difficult times. We work with patients to help them live the rest of their lives to the fullest and make the most of their time with people they love.  

To learn more about Gulfside’s services or memorial gift opportunities, visit Gulfside.org or call 727-845-5707.