Everyone should write their memoirs at some time; after all once you die all those memories die with you. And haven’t we all, at some time in our life, wished that we’d spoken to family and friends about various moments in their lives. Remember that Grandfather who told you a little about his experiences in his early life, being sent to fight a war or similar, but at the time you weren’t really interested? Or that Auntie who confessed a family secret but you didn’t take too much notice at the time? Or a friend who divulged something of their long gone misspent youth? Maybe you were just too young yourself or inexperienced with the ways of the world to be as interested as you should have been. Amazingly you often find out things you didn’t know about even close friends or relatives when you attend their funerals.
So a few years ago when one of my daughters bought me Carmel Bird’s book Writing the story of your life I began such a journey. Having a few skeletons in the closet I’ve found that documenting my life has been very cathartic and amazingly, I have learnt things about myself which I never even knew. While it took me a while to get started on the project I’m now about three quarters into what will eventually be the book. Every now and again other events and projects in my life mean that it has to go onto the back burner but it’s well on its way!
The memoir I’m writing is not for general publication, it is only intended for family members and some special friends. Nevertheless it’s an exercise which everyone should engage in at some time in their life. You won’t regret it! And after you’re long gone your descendants will be grateful for what your story tells them about the family to which they belong.
I am fortunate Michelle that the history of both my mother’s & father’s families have been documented & published ( for family members ). It is a great starting point for future family members wishing to update the histories. At this stage I am probably the sibling in my family who is the most interested but I am sure that grand-children or great grand-children will ensure that the history and stories will not be lost.