A retirement app that connects family

Andrew Ronald

Andrew Ronald
Written by: Andrew Ronald

15 April, 2022

Simirity is for all the family – it’s far more than just a legacy or retirement app. It strengthens family connections. These are my experiences with Simirity.

Why do I need Simirity?

I’m married with two children and four grandchildren. When we retired, a good few years ago now, we filled our time with travel, walking and visiting friends and family. Then Covid and other issues got in the way, and life slowed down a bit. I wouldn’t say time drags (I still need to sort out my drone flying licence!) but there seems less urgency to the days even though I have fewer left. 

Simirity has come along at a good time for me, as the family recognise we are ageing and are showing more interest in our past lives. I can now start to contemplate my life and get it recorded for posterity. My life hasn’t been all that interesting in the scheme of things, but recording it will save me telling the same stories multiple times. And my kids would probably forget the details anyway! Come to that, if I don’t get it down, I might end up changing the details, or forgetting them myself as time goes on. 

There are a lot of advantages that Simirity offers both me and my family. I have tried to pick out a few of them in this blog post.

Two deckchairs looking at

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Re-living the past

Many older people turn to researching their ancestry as a new hobby. Perhaps answering some questions that have been unanswered for all of their lives. I got my wife into that when she retired, and it has given her a lot of pleasure as well as a few surprises. But unless you are lucky enough to find newspaper articles about members of your family, the information available is quite basic and factual. It doesn’t tell you who they were or what they did. 

It is nice to have the opportunity to record the answers to questions about your own life, and maybe your parents and grandparents, for future generations. Before they have even thought about them. I can now look back over my life and my parents’ lives, and using Simirity’s features, record those memories in audio files and photographs for all the family to see. 

As we grow older we all start to suffer from age-related problems. They say that one in two people will get cancer in their lifetime, and I’m one of them. If I’m lucky this will not be life-limiting, but other things can also affect our mobility and mental acuity. If I am unlucky enough to suffer from Alzheimers or dementia it may be therapeutic to be able to hear my stories again, or the stories of loved ones as they told them. I’m not there yet but I have read that hearing familiar voices and stories can provide a lot of comfort to those suffering from those conditions, as well as their families.  

 

Sharing life’s experiences

The past is not all about facts – who was born, married, died, when and where. The past is made up of experiences which can then be told as stories, with or without a moral! And our stories give readers an insight into us – what we find amusing and enjoyable; what mistakes we have made and what we learned from them. I also plan to record some of the things I regret never doing, in the hope that it will help future generations to focus on what they really want to do in their lives, and to get on and do it!

 

Engaging with younger generations

You don’t have to create stories on your own! Apart from the ability to co-author stories in Simirity it can be a pleasure to involve younger members of the family by inviting them to record stories and ask questions. They probably know more about the technology than you do anyway. As well as developing a bond with them you can encourage them in the pursuit of knowledge, and to develop a curiosity about life. All good life skills. And interviews can be done over the internet if they cannot visit you in person.

 

Re-engaging with family

Sharing stories increases understanding in a family, and clarifies situations that might always have been a mystery to one’s children – if they had even thought about it! Why did we move there? Why did my parents break up? Why did I never hear anything about that aunt? Understanding might not always lead to renewed closeness, but it can put discord to rest and avoid bad feelings in the longer term.

 

Mending broken relationships

It can be the case that situations in life drive a wedge between family members. And once people are split apart it can be difficult to build bridges. This is not necessarily something one wants to deal with in full public view, and finding the opportunity, or the courage, to do it face to face can be difficult. Letters have always been a medium for sharing emotions and thoughts, but few people write letters these days. Simirity can help to provide a foundation for a relationship to be rekindled with a combination of honest stories, ideally from both parties, detailing the situations that led to the split and available to all the family, and specific stories to the estranged family member.

 

Speaking to future generations

Everyone knows that they will eventually pass, and inevitably new members of the family will arrive that they will never know. How comforting to know that even after you are gone your voice and stories can live on. Great, great, great-grandchildren can gain a flavour of your life and what made you who you are, and how you may have influenced subsequent members of the family. The experiences you gained can be shared and may even provide guidance for difficult times being experienced by later generations.

 

Having a presence at events in the future

As one grows older, and families live further apart, there will be events that cannot be attended. These days there is the hope that a video call can provide a brief link to an event happening far away, if time zones and technology allow. But how amazing it would be if, following your passing, you were able to say a few words at your own funeral, or at the wedding of a grandchild! What to say would be something you could think about overtime, and record on Simirity only to be read at the time of the event. A real opportunity to speak into the future, almost like time travel!

 

Achieving a sense of completeness

In business it is common to produce some sort of completion report when a particular project or operation has been completed. All the issues that cropped up, and how they were dealt with, form the basis of a learning experience for the organisation. Life is not very different and there can be satisfaction in looking back over your life, reflecting on it, and thinking about what you did well; what you could have done better; and what you learned from it all. By recording all this in Simirity it can be your own completion report on your life, to be shared with your family; or you can identify things you have left undone and do something about it before it is too late.

Final thoughts

Maybe if I was “somebody” I would have an autobiography written about me, after all nearly every celebrity seems to have one or maybe several written about them. And some of the celebrities are barely thirty! But although I am not a celebrity I am somebody, and I do have a life story. I don’t care if the public never hears my story but my family is interested in it, because it has had a bearing on their lives. I could never afford to have someone ghostwrite my autobiography, and my life is not that interesting, but now I can record the more entertaining and relevant stories about my life for me to look back on and the family to find and read in the future. I’m looking forward to doing that – and maybe creating new stories as I come to realise what I have missed out on and always wanted to do (eg flying a drone)! Oh, and the surprise my wife found when she explored her ancestry? She is descended from royalty! Maybe there is a story there…

Categories:  Self, All Posts

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