Leaving behind important memories

You might want to leave behind some memories for the people you love. Some people also decide to deal with any unfinished business.

Things you might want to do

There might be things you want to take care of if you know you are dying. For example, you might want to:

  • sort out problems with personal relationships
  • visit certain places
  • buy gifts for people
  • go through your personal belongings
  • give special things away to family and friends
  • see a spiritual or religious leader

Leaving behind memories

Leaving some special memories and thoughts for the people you love can be very important. This may be especially true if you have very young children who could grow up without remembering many aspects of your time with them.


Some people like to record a CD or video of themselves. You might want to let your children and loved ones know exactly how you feel about them and mention some special times you spent together. You might even want to give them messages for their future life. These can be kept to show children when they are older.


You could write letters to your loved ones. It's sometimes easier to write things down if you struggle to say them. 

You could use a letter to resolve conflict or difficulties with other people in your life, particularly if you can't get to see them in person.

Memory boxes

Some people like to put together a memory box with mementos for their children. You can put in anything that's important to you or your children, or that will remind them of a particular memory. 

Diaries and blogs

Keeping a diary or a blog (online journal) gives you the chance to write about feelings and events that are important to you. You can add sections about your life, what you've achieved, your travels, work and hobbies. You can leave this behind for your loved ones as a memory of your life.

Don’t feel that you have to do any of these things. Some people don’t feel the need to. You might worry that leaving messages behind after you die may be too hard for your family and friends to handle.

Everyone is different and there are no rules about how you should feel or what you want to do. You can do what is right for you and what you feel able to do.