Wednesday, September 15, 2021

World Childless Week, Day Three: Leaving a Legacy

Day Three of World Childless Week is about "Leaving a Legacy." 

Legacy feels connected to blood; the bloodline that we can’t or won’t continue. Do you feel sad or guilty that: your family name, traditions and collectibles ends with you? Why does the pain of not being able to pass something on hurt so much? 

Perhaps you’ve found a way to lessen the pain or create a legacy in a new way; through teaching, sponsorship, art and creativity, innovation, gardening, charitable work or donations etc? 

"Legacy" (including the practical matter of "what's going to happen to my stuff?") has been something I've struggled with over the years. Longtime readers will know that my family (my mother's side in particular) generally has a keen interest in its history, and I'm one of the main cousins researching our family tree(s). I've already decided that if no one from the younger generation shows sufficient interest in the subject, I will donate my genealogy files and old family photos to the local museum in the county where my grandparents lived. They already have several important items from my family in their collection (one of my second cousins is on the museum board), and they are a valuable resource for research into local families. 

I've written posts in the past about passing on my grandmother's class ring and pearl necklace to my cousins' daughters (one a disappointing experience and the other more satisfying), and my vintage stereo and vinyl LP collection to Older Nephew (here and here).  

And this is one of my favourite posts that I've ever written, I think, about my childless spinster great x3 aunt, and the legacy she left us. It's a great reminder that we will never know exactly what sort of a legacy we might leave or the impact we might have on future generations, even when they're not our direct descendants. 

If you're interested in delving into some of my other back posts on the subject, I recently added a new tag, "legacy" to some of the relevant posts I was able to find. I will tag more as I encounter them. 

Other tags that might point to relevant posts of interest include "aunthood," "genealogy" and "getting older." 

Check out today's content on the WCW site, including community members' contributions and a couple of live and pre-recorded webinars/discussions on this subject. The first, at 7 p.m. UK time/2 p.m. Eastern Time in North America, is hosted by Kirsty Woodard and Patricia Faulks, about setting up an AWOC (aging without children) advocacy group. The second is at 8 p.m. UK time/3 p.m. Eastern Time in North America, hosted by Jody Day of Gateway Women -- one of her regular "Fireside Wisdom for Childless Elderwomen" chats with an amazing group of older childless women. These webinars will be recorded and uploaded to the Day Three page for anyone who cannot make the live event. 

1 comment:

  1. You're right, we never know what our legacy will be. You and I have been thinking and writing about legacy for quite a long time now, so it is good to see that it is now being addressed more widely in the community.