Fading Memory

Conducting workshops to help people write the story of their lives through the places they’ve lived is fascinating. Helping people place their homes in chronological order is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle.
But, I’m learning in the process that the fading of memory is a devastating and frustrating issue. Many of the people I have worked with are 85 years of age or older. And their memories are very fuzzy. It’s heart-breaking to watch a person struggle to remember the places they’ve lived over their lifetimes. I must add, that one person I’m working with is 96 and her memory is still
very sharp. But that is the exception, rather than the rule.
And so, I admonish people to write down names, places, dates, and addresses while they still can remember them.
An ideal age group to participate in these workshops would be recently retired boomers, or even younger adults. At this point, one can remember, or even contact family members or colleagues to help refresh memories. By the time one reaches one’s 80’s and beyond, many of those resources no longer exist. And those struggling to remember feel so alone.
And so, I urge you to jot down for posterity simple facts like dates of birth, graduations, marriages, deaths and addresses – for yourself and for your loved ones who will come after you. Do it now, while you can still remember and while you can search through family, friends and media.
Your heirs, not to mention yourself, will be so glad you did.