Memorial Day means different things to different people. Some think of it as the beginning of summer, others as just a three day weekend. Some focus on the memory of those who died in military service and others expand it to First Responders and loved ones who have passed away. A day that started out with the decoration of soldiers’ graves after the Civil War has diminished or expanded over the years, depending on your perspective. Remembering is a powerful experience and important to the decisions we make in real time.
Almost every day I speak with someone who is trying to remember. They share what they remember with me or just as often, what they remember being told. Some struggle with their memory or try to cover up their loss of memory because they are embarrassed. Often siblings or cousins remember things differently when a key loved one has died. If the first casualty of war is the truth, the first casualty of death is communication among the survivors. Memorials can communicate powerfully, but just as often produce controversy as those in the future try to interpret their full meaning.
Would you like to be remembered well? Put what you want in writing with the help of a professional experienced in that practice. Prepare for disability and death with documents engineered for that purpose. Don’t leave a legacy of miscommunication and hurt feelings. Make your wishes known. While you’re at it, consider blessing a nonprofit, religious, charitable, or educational effort in your current giving and in your estate plan. Here’s to remembering rightly and being rightly remembered because we walk in gratitude and we prepare for the future.