Too often, long-time funeral director Don Burstows has witnessed families "saying goodbye and wishing they knew more".
"So I want to encourage everyone to record the experiences, events and people that helped shape their life and let these moments resonate and live on in future generations," he said.
Hence, Burstows Funerals has created a beautiful memento book, Memories of a Lifetime ... In My Own Words, in which to record the reminiscences, dreams, advice, values, beliefs and life lessons closest to your heart. It is these experiences - large and small, positive and negative - gathered across the years, which make each of us person we are.
"I really think part of our role as funeral directors is to aid the intergenerational transfer of life experiences (wisdom learnings, regrets, challenges, highpoints and low points)," Mr Burstow said.
Quoting an old African proverb which states "When an old(person) dies, a library burns to the ground", Mr Burstow said, "When a loved one is blessed with longevity, it is amazing just how much wisdom and experience there is to share and pass on".
Mr Burstow said completing the book was a project which could easily be broken into small bite-sized pieces, and completed alone or with family over time. However, equally, as the memories flood back, you may not want, or be able to stop filling it in.
Sections such as favourite toy, pet, hobby, movie, book and food growing up, or 'the most beautiful place I have ever been' prompt recollections you may not have considered for years, perhaps decades.
As Winnie the Pooh author A. A. Milne wrote, "We didn't realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun".
The fact that the book is filled out in the person's own handwriting - regardless of how good or bad that may be - makes it even more special, and Mr Burstow believes Memories of a Lifetime ... In My Own Words will become "a family's greatest treasure".
"A family given the memories of a lifetime is truly blessed," he said.
Mr Burstow added that, as a funeral director, having such information on hand when serving a family helped to create a commemoration "full of significance, memories and learning". However, he said, his focus was on the living, in starting discussions and potentially creating new memories.
He hopes the book, with its space for photos as we as words, will bring the writer and those it is left to much pleasure and understanding.
But remember, he said, "we never know when our final chapter is complete, so this book will always be 'my story so far', and something to which people can continue to add".
Memories of a Lifetime... In My Own Words...
To receive your complimentary copy of this beautiful book to be filled
with your memories please call our friendly team at Burstows (07) 4636 9600