Live Well, Live Happy, Live Long

Tag: what we leave behind

It Ain’t Over ’til its Over – dying is not the end

When I write it ain’t over, it’s because I often write about death and dying, but not in the normal sense.



Coffee and a friend to share it with


Grab a coffee and let's chat about life!

Grab a coffee and let’s chat about life!



I don’t believe in being morbid but I do believe in people being ready for the end. And those that aren’t are usually the ones for whom death is unexpected. A sudden illness, an accident or catastrophe befall them. And while I much of what I write speak to the older generation it applies all of who are getting older.


There is much to done before we go.

The book is a guide to help you clean your house before you go so your kids won’t have to once you’re gone. For me, that is some of what  Leavings my new book speaks to.

That was the gist of my most recent book.  But if you haven’t seen it you can get it here.

When I write that dying is not the end I am not preaching about the meaning of death, I am writing about what and who you leave behind. This is what I prefer to focus on and what you are going to find the book I am currently writing for very specific reasons. Some of that you can read in this Post.

We all leave something when we go I hope to help you leave a lasting legacy.  I do have my reasons and are mostly related to my own family experiences.  While most of my family has passed what I learned from their living and passing is what often write in my books and in my blogs.  The sister blog to this one www.healthywealthyaging.com is where I share some of the things that do not make it into my books.  Here is a link to one of the relevant posts.

There is so much to write about living and grow old and hope to make the journey a pleasant and meaningful one.  I hope you will join me in the discussion.

And I would love to share one of my free short book with you for doing so.

The book is Learn how to be happy, just click HERE to get your free copy.




Dealing with Family treasures

Make sure Family Treasures are more than just STUFF


well loved but the need has faded

Dying is the last thing most of want to think of let alone talk about, but there are just somethings that need considering.  Some of those things are what I wrote about in my newest book A guide to dealing with family treasures so your kids won’t have to – Clean your house before you go.


No, the book isn’t all doom and gloom about dying and who gets what.  Well, there is a little of that but mostly is it about getting rid of all the baggage and stuff we accumulate over a hopefully long life.  The younger we are, and when I say younger I’m thinking under 70, when we do this the easier it is and will be for everyone.  Just to give you and idea on what need looking after here is a short chapter from the book:

Your beloved, treasured Antiques are now just old stuff

Older isn’t necessarily Better


Now on to the wonderful days of garage sales, where you found a once coveted lace table cloth.  If you were once one of those happy individuals, it’s time to give up old habits.  I have on our property a Sea Can full of antiques and garage sale finds that an old friend asked us to keep when she moved out of the country.  What she hoped would be her stash for cash when she needed it has become an albatross around her neck.  She finds there is no longer a market for it.  In addition, where we live out in cow country with nary a neighbor for miles nor a place where garage sales are held, she has little hope for making a killing on it.  As we are now making plans to move to a smaller house closer to the city, she is challenged to find a way of getting rid of it from afar.


Another thing for you to remember is that if the desire for antiques is declining, and I know in some places it is not, but in general they are, what will the kids who may not have room for them do?  There comes that guilt again. They will have already gone through whatever guilt comes with losing a loved one, and now those feelings will return.  It is far easier for us to think that someone will want and cherish the family heirlooms.  In some place, they most definitely still do; the question is, will they have a place for it?

Minimalism Is In


Look at some of the designer magazines or even some of the house flipping shows.  Most have clean, sleek lines with no oversized bulging china cabinets.  Showcases have been replaced with stylish display shelves that won’t hold a collection of heavy vases or porcelain dolls.  Some looks don’t include dressers, as they opt for closets with built-ins and sliding doors behind which are rods and drawers all neatly placed.


Perhaps, it is the time to rethink our way of living.  Minimalism doesn’t mean doing without, and since we do less of what we used to do, regarding entertaining, minimizing just a little shouldn’t be too much of a burden.


Home sized matters


If you or your family live in a big city, where homes are small and condos are even tinier, space is at a premium.  Most of the furniture we had is now way too big to fit in these places.

For storage, there simply is none.  When you think about what you are saving for the kids, keep these things in mind.  There is a lot more to leave behind than just stuff.  Check out my article on Leavings.




Thank Goodness for Technology

Paper’s good, but digital lasts longer




Tablets are a technology we all use today, these tablets and their associated apps are just the ticket for capturing those images


Not Technology Savvy?


You don’t have to be tech savvy to use this step; I think you have the talent; you may no longer be using it.  Now is your chance to show the kids you still have it.  I was speaking with a friend on Skype the other day, and he told me he and his wife had just moved into a condo.  They were now trying to determine what to do with a lot of their stuff that doesn’t fit their new home.  One thing they were doing was to digitize their paperwork. I was impressed! This couple is not young or even middle-aged, and while their use of Skype is no surprise, digitizing their paperwork was.  I hadn’t even thought of it, and I’m sure others haven’t either.  That is why I am including it in this book.  Here are some of their choices that had me thinking: wills, insurance documents, driver’s licenses, health cards, birth certificates, etc.  I know we need to keep them in a safe place, but I had not considered digitizing them. We always give our girls copies of our passports and travel documents when we travel, but never digital copies.  Something to add to the to-do list.


I am sure over the years there has been an accumulation of old technology superseded by newer generations.  Speaking of technology – where’s the VCR?  VCRs have gone the way of 8 track players. Movie cameras with actual tapes have been replaced by your phone or smaller pocket devices minus the tapes.

Email, don’t use a messenger


Sharing the decisions is easier in an email.  Don’t opt in for simple technology such as messaging for this stuff. Why email rather than messenger or text messages?  Email are easier to see as you type.  Emails have a subject line, so they don’t get lost or discarded accidently.  Now, I am not a technology guru, and I could be wrong, but I have yet to discover how to recover a text message, so my feeling is that email is safest for this information, because even if you delete it accidentally, you can recover it from your trash or deleted file.


Emails can be as long or as short as you want, they take more thought than a 140-character tweet or a text message, and they are more important.


Another way that technology can help in this cleaning process is with all the lists.  These lists can be long, especially if written on paper. (Don’t forget to get the companion online journal you can use for this, and the other suggested lists.) When created and kept in not only your computer but the cloud, they are made accessible to whom you think needs them.  This also makes them much easier to share with others who may need the information. The important issue is you tell those people how to access it as they are best-kept password protected.


Photos fade, digital pictures don’t


One of the largest collections most of us have will be photos, and most often, photos we took over the years.  These are usually the most important pictures.  Pictures are by far the most treasured items we leave behind. One of the other great aspects of digitizing pictures is the ability to label them.  Many of you will have an old photo you received on the death of a family member, and I would guess you have looked at it and wondered who the people in the photo are.  We know our family and even extended family, but when the photos date back three generations, the identities become less evident.  Even those with notes on the back with the names, over time, get harder to read.   So, if only for keeping the name of our family members alive, I suggest digitizing them.  Now having said that, I also know we don’t take pictures the way we used to.  Cameras with the actual film are mostly only used by professional photographers who want a specific style or treatment of their subject.


Today, most of us take our photos with our phone and they end up as digitized images. So even as cameras became smaller, phones became smarter and easier to use.  They also made the load a little lighter because we no longer needed to carry both.  Nor do we have to worry about keeping a cell phone and a camera charged.


So, as we all move on in age and life, this topic speaks to what we can do with the old and how to manage the new.



As I write my next book – Clean Your House Before You Leave– I wonder about what it is  that we should leave.  We all leave something behind, good or bad.  I am sure we all wish that what we do leave behind is good and something others will value.

The age old consideration of what you leave behind is good memories.  Memories of you that your family hold close to their hearts.  Well if that is the case then perhaps we should start to cultivate those memories so that will grow and out live us.

With the busy lives we all live at times it is diffucult for us to even consider what our Leavings’ will or could be.  Our kids are gown and have their own busy lives.  Our grandchildren also have so much going on that just find a time in their busy schedule is next to impossible.

I am reminded of this and what we will leave behind because I feel that some where along the way my granddaughter have cultivated an almost private type relationship.  A relationship that I hope will be a leaving she will cherish.


The picture may be a little out of date and blurry but it reminds of her looking back into the sun to see if I was still there.  Hopefully she will feel I always!cropped-SAM_0633-e1448483860323.jpg

She doesn’t live close to us and getting to see her is a challenge, so we have to use the telephone as our method of communicating.  Which may not seem like much on the surface.   How can a telephone call leave much in the way of memories?  Heck we talk on the phone and half of what we talk about is forgotten the minute we hang up.

And that is probably true, what is different with my Granddaughter is that I have become her chore time partner.  Like many children she has things she is responsible for doing at home, clean her room, fold her laundry, take the dog for a walk, sweep the floor and the list goes on. Since she doesn’t like doing those things alone, she calls Grandma and with the phone on handsfree we talk.  Well a lot of times I just listen as she goes on about her day, her friends, her school.  We even discuss what her Mom did at her age, what I did at her age.  So the conversation provides me with updates on her life and of course all the things she thinks her parents are being unfair about.  My job here is just to let her vent and not take sides. Somewhere in the conversation I attempt to help her see things from a different perspective, being careful not impose my own thoughts  on her.

In addition to those topics of conversation we talk about my family.  Since I was 14 years younger than my closest sibling most of them a have already left us.  She is naturally curious about them and what my life was like growing up as pretty much an only child.  She herself is an only child as is her mother and this piques her curiosity even more.

My point here is that with these long conversations I am hoping that my leavings’ will be the memory of these conversations. Not necessarily the conversations or even what we talked but just the memory of her being able to call Grandma when ever she was bored, or when she had to do mundane chores and just knowing I would be there for her.  And for me the memory that she called me!

These are My Leavings’, and perhaps the topic of another book!

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