Your Memories Matter
First of all, you don’ t have to live a “Wow—you-should-write-a-book-about-your-life” type of existence for your memories to matter. Your journey might be interesting because it’s drastically different from the stories of other people. On the other hand, your memories might be interesting precisely because they are not dissimilar. They might resonate because they parallel the daily rhythms and milestones that everyone experiences.
Second of all, your memories matter to your loved ones. You’re passing on a legacy of who you are and how you became that person.
You don’t have to write a memoir to share your memories
You don’t have to write a life story. A memory can be a moment. You can journal your memories or write about individual episodes of your past. You can simply provide a narrative of your memories on a scrapbook page.
The people who experienced the same memories as you will enjoy reading narratives of your memories. Your story-telling will awaken—and sweeten—their recall.
Even when you have the same experiences as your family members or friends, their memories are not necessarily identical to yours. Others may remember things differently than you do. They may also offer additional details with which they can annotate your story. Sharing common memories can spark great conversations in general, but particularly with those who were there when the events in your memory happened.
Writing about your memories—and sharing them—connects you to your readers
We won’t always be there to comfort, to cheer on, or to advise our loved ones, particularly those who are a couple of generations younger than us. Through writing about your memories and what matters most to you, you will leave a legacy that connects you to subsequent generation.
For instance, you can talk at great length about the joy of being a grandparent. However, until younger generations become grandparents themselves, they won’t truly connect to your joy. In “Why Write? Holding on to Memories,” Amber Lea Starfire reflects on the value of her mother’s written memories, “in preserving her memories on the page, she gave me the gift of seeing life through her eyes, the opportunity to forgive her for who she was (not who I wanted her to be)…” Her mother left her a way to have an honest woman-to-woman connection.
Writing your memories can give your brain a boost
In his article, “To Preserve Memory Into Old Age, Keep Your Brain Active! “ Michael Harper explains conclusions of a Rush University Medical Center in Chicago study: This new study “claims reading and writing may preserve memory into old age. By keeping your brain active, says study author Robert S. Wilson, PhD, you’re able to slow the rate at which your memory decreases in later years.”
Writing about your memories can be therapeutic
“Write about Memories: It’s Therapeutic!” summarizes these points, but it can’t be over-emphasized. Writing itself if therapeutic. Writing about your memories is particularly therapeutic.
Writing about emotional events doesn’t just bring about emotional and spiritual healing. In “How Writing Heals Wounds — Of Both the Mind and Body,” Maia Szalavitz reports that a study out of the University of Auckland in New Zealand “showed that the calming effect of writing can cut physical wound healing time nearly in half.”