People living with a terminal illness often worry that in the future, their families might forget how much they loved them and special memories may fade.
Finding opportunities to remind your family of your love, when the time comes that you can no longer tell them, is a difficult challenge to face. Creating a Memory Box can help you record your feelings, thoughts and special memories for your loved ones, in the form of a precious keepsake.
The volunteers who support Silver Chain’s Palliative Care Service have started gifting memory boxes to some families of clients nearing the end of their life.
As you fill out the cards in the box, you are creating a lasting reminder for your family. Each card carries a different sentence or phrase, carefully chosen to prompt you to reflect on meaningful times in your life, aspects of your personality, your thoughts, feelings and special relationships.
From your first car, your favourite music and the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited, to your happiest moments, most memorable experiences and even your dreams for your children – your memory box offers you the opportunity to record it all.
Whatever you choose to write on the cards can be used to tell your children stories of your life, or help your family to remember the times you spent together.
Whilst receiving Silver Chain's Palliative Care service, Paula O’Connor was given a memory box by her Silver Chain nurse, Helen.
“I was battling with trying to leave messages to my loved ones in a way that isn’t tacky or frightening. But when Helen brought me the box…she answered my problems for me."
Completing the cards was an emotional experience, Paula explains, but one that has brought her relief and joy.
"It has been very emotional. When I was reading through the cards, I had thoughts that I'd even forgotten about. I can talk about them with my family now, as well.
“It’s even made me laugh, the things I’ve remembered, that I can write down. And I think that’s what counts. To leave something behind for my loved ones that can bring them smiles."
And what does she hope for, when her family read through the cards in years to come?
"I hope that when they pick up these boxes that they will read and smile. That they'll read and remember me."
As part of our Palliative Care service, clients are offered the opportunity to create a Memory Box. To find out more about our Palliative Care service, please call our Contact Centre on (08) 9242 0242.