Choosing Memories

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Choosing memories.

This may seem like a contradiction in terms. You don't choose memories. They choose themselves and you are the helpless host….Well, not quite. You choose which photographs to keep; which to frame, even. And one reason that makes you choose this photo rather than that is that it brings back happy memories of a day at the sea side at Scarborough or Alice’s graduation.

We want to suggest that you can choose memories in much the same way. There are happy stories; there are poignant stories; there are hilarious stories - and these will be scattered through the family. It is a really good idea to make a conscious effort to collect these stories. The Wake will almost certainly give you a first opportunity, but there is no reason to confine the collection to the Wake.

How ro record them? That depends on your level of technical skill. You could record them on a small recording device (they need not be expensive at their most basic); or you could commit them to memory and then write them up; or you could badger the best story tellers in your circle to write them down and send them to you.

The aim should be to build up a battery of stories, of all emotional tones, that bring the deceased “alive”. This will not only be a constant source and comfort and delight to you and your contemporaries; it will be a source of fascination for the younger generations , even those yet unborn.

Of course, if you want to be ahead of the curve, the really clever thing to do is to get the older generations to tell their own stories, perhaps even on camera. Some do that more easily than others, of course. Horses for courses. But a fund of stories about or by the older generations is invaluable - and will always help us select the happiest memories of them.