Ever since photography made it possible for people to store memories, pictures have been an important part of holding on to loved ones after their death. Today's society, however, offers more opportunities than ever before. Now, memories don't have to be stored in boxes in the closet or gather dust in the attic, where it's difficult to find them even when you're feeling nostalgic. They're stored on computers, on the internet, in places where it's easy for your loved ones to access those memories when they need them the most. There's just one question: what kind of digital legacy are you leaving behind? Are you leaving your loved ones with images alone, or are you remembering to tell the story that goes along with them? When you store pictures, whether it's on social media or through another medium, take the time to tell the story that goes along with them. There will be a day when your loved ones are grateful that you did.
Share your perspective. Everyone remembers events a little bit differently. Ask half a dozen people who were present at the same event at the same time, and they'll all tell you a different story. Share the events as you remember them along with your pictures to allow your loved ones to see the day through your eyes, bring light to something that no one else might have noticed, or to remind them of the details that were important to you.
Everyone loves a story. Do you remember when your children were young? They would crawl up in your lap with a book in hand, begging you to read them a story. If you started talking about something that happened, even if it was just a couple of years ago, their little eyes lit up and their attention was riveted to every word you spoke. That tendency doesn't disappear as children grow older. Tell your story in a way that will give your loved ones something to hold on to long after you're gone.
Share memories with your kids. Over time, memories fade. Children, in particular, don't always possess the ability to record memories for long-term use. Once you're gone, there won't be anyone to remind your older children of those special days that you've captured in photographs. They might discover that they can't remember the circumstances at all! By taking the time to tell the story of those important memories, you give them back to your children.
Keep your voice alive. Over time, your loved ones will forget the sound of your voice. They'll lose the precise way that you told a story, or the exact words that you used-- even when they've heard the story dozens of times. By committing those stories to digital storage, you give your loved ones access to the way that you told it, preserving your past and theirs.
Reminisce together, even if you can't be there. Beloved pictures are wonderful things to hold on to, but they don't tell the whole story. By putting your story with the pictures, you bring part of yourself to your loved ones when they need you the most. Your stories might evoke laughter and tears in the space of only minutes. That's a valuable piece of you that your loved ones will hold on to for the rest of their lives.
When you consider your digital legacy, make sure that it's not just pictures. You don't have to spend hours behind a computer screen to give your loved ones the stories that they need and deserve. Mere minutes are often enough to caption now-familiar photos, share information with your loved ones, and remind them of those glorious moments that you shared together. Start adding the stories to your memories today. It's worth it.