Last chance – give now. Before 2014 ends, help struggling seniors. Donate



In Death, New Discoveries

From death we can find new life through our family's history: letters, diaries, photographs and videos.

En español | Perfectly trimmed and waxed handlebar mustache; dark, wavy hair; piercing eyes: That was the maternal grandfather I knew, the one from the sepia-toned photograph that hung in an oval wood frame in my Nina's living room. I never knew José Silvano Saucedo any other way. He died in his fifties, long before any of his grandchildren were born.

But I'm getting to know him better, and so are my seven siblings. In 2009, the eight of us faced the most heart-wrenching losses of our lives: Mom and Dad died within months of each other. It was a year of caregiving with love and gratitude for all they had cared and given to us. In the end, we were left with memories embedded deeply within us—and a house filled with family heirlooms and boxes no one had opened in decades.

We used to laugh at Mom's penchant for hanging on to a one-year-old's first drawing, a four-year-old's first letter to Grandma and Grandpa, an old tablecloth, or a piece of lace. Now I silently thank her.
Back to Article

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Resource Center

Find tools, work sheets and tips on how to plan, prepare and succeed as a caregiver. Select a Caregiving Resource Center topic from the drop-down menu below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Smiling man brushing his teeth

Members can get an instant quote from AARP® Dental Insurance program by Delta Dental.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx discount card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AARP membership discount Man trying on eyeglasses at optometrists smiling

Members save up to 60% on eye exams at LensCrafters.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.