One of my hobbies is documenting my family’s genealogy. I say, “documenting” and not “researching” because my joy comes from listening to and reading the family stories and organizing all the information that others already know. I get no pleasure from doing research. I also love using my talents to publish this genealogy and family history on the web so that all can enjoy it.
I started going through papers and photos that I got when my grandmother (Anderson) died in 2005. She was faithful to keep records (letters, stories, charts) of our family history. Documentation like that is of vital importance when one is recording genealogy. Sometimes you will come up with two conflicting pieces of information and without documentation, you would not know which was more likely to be true. Interestingly, Gran was practically obsessive about saving funeral programs. They are little cards that tell the barest of details. Who died, when they were born and when they died, where the services are to be held and who will officiate. She has them from her parents, her brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles… As much as I understand their value as documentation, it seems a bit odd (even morbid) to save them.
As I was sorting through things tonight, I came across Gran’s own funeral program that I had saved. I thought about how she had passed this job to me and how I was the one now filing her funeral program. It then occured to me that someday, someone else will file my funeral program.
I don’t mean to scare anyone. This is not meant to be morbid or some kind of prediction of my demise. It is a reminder that death is a very real part of life. That’s the way it is supposed to be. For me, it helps to keep the worries of life in perspective. I wonder if Gran ever thought about that…