22 July, 2019


Yesterday, I received a piece of jewellery, an inheritance from my husband’s aunt. She had specifically chosen it for me, and although I have no reason why she chose that particularly piece, the fact that she must have had a reason makes it extra special. She was childless, and in recent years, as we’d included her and her husband in family celebrations and as they saw some of my writings and thoughts on not having children, I felt that she appreciated us a little more.

I often hear people without children wonder who will want their stuff. Though if I’m honest, the person who said that to me most was my mother-in-law, so it isn’t just the childless who think about such matters. It's all about attitude. I think as a No Kidding, childless, woman, I haven't developed an expectation that I'll be able to leave my treasured possessions to descendants. As I’ve said before, I keep possessions because they’re important to me, because they bring me joy, not because I want to pass them on. I don’t need to be remembered through things. I’d rather be remembered for actions or love or because I made someone feel good one day.

That said, because she chose this piece – a string of pearls – specifically for me, I’m already figuring out how to make it contemporary to suit my style. It will be an easy fix, I think, and I’ll wear it with pride and pleasure. And it will give me pleasure that in the future I can do that too with one or two of my possessions, for my nieces and nephews, or for other young people in my life.


  1. How lovely, to be remembered through this gift. And to have it remind you that you can give a piece of your inheritance to some young person who means a lot to you in the future. Maybe not having kids makes the leaving of things a little more carefully thought out, as there's no givens for "heirs" and you can make your own legacy. That's kind of how I like to think about it. I also like how that frees you from keeping things because someone in the family might want it someday, but without "heirs" you have no weird sense of obligation to keep things that don't bring you happiness. I'd love to hear what you do with the pearls to make them more contemporary!

  2. Pearls of wisdom here: " I don’t need to be remembered through things. I’d rather be remembered for actions."

    I'm glad your aunt remembered you in such a lovely way.

  3. That's beautiful. I've wondered the same thing. I have a very dear friend whom i love as my mother, she doesn't have any children of her own but she views me as her daughter and I am her main beneficiary. I try to think of how best to honor her wishes and how I will best honor her memory.

  4. How lovely that she thought of you and to have such a nice reminder

  5. Love your words about not needing to be remembered through things. I recently asked my brother for my mom's wedding band, simply so that I have it to remember her by. Sometimes I do wonder what I'm to do with some of the jewelleries that my mom has given me, though, but I suppose I still have time to think about it.

    1. Amel, I think it's nice you'll have something of your mother's to hold. But I know you'll remember her every day, with or without the wedding band. I've also got a ring from my MIL, and I'm planning to redesign that too - maybe into ear-rings or a pendant, as I'd never wear the ring.

  6. How nice to receive such a beautiful keepsake from someone who clearly appreciated you & your dh and what you did for her. She obviously wanted you to have something special to remember her by (even though you'd remember her anyway!). A good reminder that we can pass things we've loved on to anyone who has played a special part in our life, even if they're not our own children or even other family members.