What is family memory preservation and why is it important?
Memory preservation is a way of telling our stories, saving our stories and leaving our marks in the world – with our family, our friends, even the people at our places of work and in our social lives. What we preserve of our stories becomes placeholders in time, knitting and bridging the memories and tines of our lives with the lives of others.
We and the events in our lives take their place in the larger history of our community…even world history! Our stories can even become part of a larger sociological and archaeological history. Can you imagine one of your photos or stories, a torn page of a photo album or journal being unearthed generations from now? What would the person who discovered this think? What would they want to know about you, your life, and what this shard of history meant in the microcosm and macrocosm of life?
Memory preservation is about remembering, documenting and putting into form the people and events that have occurred in your life. Memory preservation provides the means by which to tell and share life stories, in a variety of ways:
- Autobiographical writing (life story writing, life story books, scrapbooks/journals)
- Photo preservation, scrapbooks memory books, photo albums, digitized photos, memory calendars, and quilts
- Heirloom and letter preservation
- Oral histories
- Video biographies
When we think of the importance of memory preservation, we think about how we’d like to be remembered. We think about the legacy we want to leave behind.
Many people who write life stories like to write them about the places they’ve been, the people they’ve met and the things that have happened to them … funny, sad and everything in between. They like to write about family, hoping their children will know how much they’re thought about and loved, and how important they are in their parent’s lives. Grandparents often write life stores to remember the events in their lives and leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren.
People often want to contribute to their larger world in this lifetime and the next. Our life stories can give context to our lives as they were. Perhaps too, whomever finds this part of you will be interested enough to search out greater pieces of your life and try to connect a photo to a story … a reunion of sorts.
Memory preservation is about the future as much as it is about the present and the past. Our lives are important; our stories are unique. Consider how you can contribute to making memory preservation a part of your life.