This time next week we’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day. And whether you’re a mum, daughter or granddaughter, it’s a time to reflect on what it means to be, and to have, a mum.
Mother’s Day is an opportunity for us to think not just about about how our own mum has shaped our life, but also how we want to be remembered by our children – and what kind of memories we’re leaving.
How do you want to be remembered?
What type of mum are you? Will your children remember your laugh, your voice, your words of wisdom about life? The things that make you, you? Have you told them about your first love? Do they know your favourite movie of all time? Or the wackiest thing you’d ever done? What will your emotional legacy be?
These are the questions that prompted mother-of-three Joanna Helin, from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, to create Lifestorybank, a new, online memory bank designed to make it easy for parents and grandparents to leave memories of themselves, advice and cherished stories for their children and grandchildren when they can’t be around.
We’re all sharing photographs on Facebook these days, but what about the more intimate and important details about your life that you don’t want to share with the whole world, but want your children and grandchildren to remember about you? That’s just what Lifestorybank is for.
So many unanswered questions
Joanna was inspired to come up with Lifestorybank after losing her own mum to a brain tumour when she was 26. She was left with a deep, emotional void, which became even more acute when she became a mother herself.
“While mum was ill, the denial, sadness and trauma I was going through prevented me from asking the questions I now wish I’d asked,” says Joanna.
“I had so many unanswered questions about all sorts of things from pregnancy and childbirth to school and personal history. Things I never thought of asking Mum when she was alive because I was not ready to, I was not at that stage of my life. I also wish I had more to remember Mum by and that there was a way my children could know their grandmother – other than a few grainy videos,” she says.
Sharing memories in a powerful way
Because of her own sense of loss, Joanna started searching for a way for parents to store information about themselves – to ensure that every child has a chance to get to know more about their parents or grandparents and has access to loving advice from them, even when the person is not around.
Lifestorybank is made up of a series of video clips recorded using a webcam. You are asked questions about your life and family by a computer-generated interviewer and the answers are video recorded and stored online indefinitely as an emotional legacy.
The questions are organised into chapters covering a wide range of topics, such as school, family, first job, love life and advice. It’s available 24 hours a day, is completely private and secure, and can be done in the comfort of the home.
“If Lifestorybank had existed when Mum died, I would have had so much more from her now and would have been able to share her memories with her granddaughters in a much more powerful way.”
Emotional legacy vs financial legacy
We’re often urged to think about wills and the financial legacy we’ll leave if we die, but it’s also very important to consider the emotional legacy you’re leaving behind for your loved ones too.
If you want to have a go at recording your life experiences and memories for your children, just sign up and start recording. Basic membership to Lifestorybank is free, which includes three chapters of over 20 questions. Full membership costs a one off fee of £90 and includes 30 chapters.
Start creating your own legacy today
So this Mother’s Day, why not do something different, and as well as enjoying breakfast in bed (if you’re lucky!), start creating a legacy for your children and grandchildren, and preserve some of your memories and life experiences forever.
So one day when you’re not around to share Mother’s Day with your loved ones, they can still hear your voice, and listen to the stories of your life.