By Ashley Cozine
Cozine Memorial Group
National Funeral Directors Association
Time is not always on our side. I was reminded of this recently with the death of my aunt. Her passing brought with it a certain void and a number of unanswered questions. Unfortunately, questions about family history, the difficulty of identifying unknown persons in old photos, cherished family recipes and traditions during the holidays, favorite memories and more went to the grave with her. I didn’t have the chance to find out many of these answers before my aunt died, and I had already missed the opportunity previously when my grandmother died a few years ago. I always thought there would be more time to talk. Now the answers to many of these questions lie solely with my father – the last of his generation. Since my aunt’s funeral, her daughter (my cousin) and I have talked about spending time and piecing the answers together so that we can pass this important family history on to our children.
Why do we often wait to find out the answers to many of these important questions until it is too late? My sense is that we are busy enough with the daily demands of life itself and we simply don’t get around to finding the time to actually sit down and talk about things that truly matter.
I am making 2017 the year that I talk with my mom and dad more about their own life and the memories and knowledge they have about their parents, siblings and previous generations. I want to locate and organize old family photos and write down these memories. Family has always been important to me and I want to be able to pass down our heritage to my own children. If I don’t do it, it will get lost and there will be more unknowns.
If my story sounds familiar, I hope you will make it your goal to talk with your own family and learn about your own heritage this coming year. Have the Talk of a Lifetime is a great tool to begin the conversation. The various resources that are available can help you talk with your family and hear about memories made, lessons learned, life stories, values, interests and experiences.
Remember that time is not always on our side. Don’t wait until it is too late.