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It Can Be a Gift from the Heart
by Harris N. Rosen
Spring cleaning isn’t just about tackling the dust bunnies and changing comforters and draperies, or even doing the deep basement dive. It is also a time to think about cleaning out our brains of information that is clogging up the little boxes and compartments where our brain stores important information.
If we are the keeper of the household, quite a lot of data is stored in our brain. It’s not only about the big things things like where is our will or deed to the house, but also small items, such as who trims the trees or fixes the furnace, and where are the codes to home alarms and passwords to critical accounts and systems. For most of us, that information is here, there and everywhere—in file cabinets, applications on our phones, in a box in the basement, or maybe, even beginning to be forgotten.
For anyone with the responsibility for an aging parent or who is the financial or household manager of a relationship, it is critical to learn this information, especially as one gets older, and organize it in a centralized way. Documenting these important things is not just a good thing to do; it is a kind thing to do as well. It is a gift, even, for those that help us with our lives, and for those that come after ours have ended.
According to a Harvard Medical School publication, “Up to 50 percent of widows and widowers have symptoms typical of major depression during the first few months after a spouse’s death, and a 2006 review noted that 15 percent of people are depressed at the one year mark.” A written record of important information will give survivors and executors as much confidence to face the future as we are able to provide. That good feeling is quite a gift.
What kinds of information should be recorded?
This spring, rest with peace of mind knowing that vital information is available, and family members and survivors can be empowered with knowledge which shows your love and protection when you can’t physically to do so yourself. This will be a gift that keeps on giving.
Harris N. Rosen has spent his life making order out of chaos. He is a trained mediator, settling more than 200 cases for the state of Rhode Island and the Community Mediation Center of Rhode Island. He is the author of My Family Record Book. More information can be found at MyFamilyRecordBook.com.