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Friends often use the term "Never forget!" to discuss those who have died while in military service - but don't use the same term or mindset to discuss our civilian spouses, even if they were close friends for decades.  Why is that?  What can we do about it?

One of my favorite quotes is this: “There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.”

I have made for myself the twin mission of a) ensuring that my late husband's name is spoken for as long as possible, and b) continuing to support the animal rights causes for which he and I had a shared commitment -- by establishing and running a donor-advised fund in his memory. 

I'm curious if others have faced similar challenges with keeping their spouse's name alive -- and if so, what you have done to meet this challenge. 

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Good post.  I've often worried about that too.  I hate that people won't/don't speak his name and seem uncomfortable when I do it.  

Jerry's late wife was active in supporting an orphanage in Kenya.  She has a building named for her, well after Jerry died the (local) church had the cafeteria dedicated in his memory.  Which is a hoot really.  His daughter and I have giggled over that.  HE HATED and resented his wife spending so much money and time there.  We are sure he's rolling his eyes in Heaven.  

He owned a hydroseeding business which is now being run by his daughter and son-in-law.  His name is on the trucks and rolls all over the state.  For his love of animals, we bought a brick at the zoo.  

Last year, I endowed a scholarship in my wife's name at my alma mater, Cal State Fullerton.   Forty four people applied for it and the first winner was announced in April.    It goes to someone who either lost a spouse or someone significant in their life    I'm trying to find ways to expand and keep it going.    I just made another donation.      I also plan a significant donation as part of my estate plan.    It's been so rewarding!

I agree.  I've been wondering how to preserve my husband's legacy.  I don't like the fact that people (including family) don't include or say his name ever.  

I like your idea of running a donor-advised fund in his memory.  

I'll never forget but unfortunately so many people do!  When I mention his name it is amazing how fast people change the subject or say something stupid like, "you have to get on with your life, etc."  I wonder how those people would feel if it were them??

Maybe I'll come up with something like you did.  My husband loved baseball and I was thinking of naming his grandson's baseball field to his name but his daughter wasn't open to the idea.  My husband and his ex-wife were involved in a bitter divorce and their children were estranged from him for years.  I think the kids don't want to upset their mother!  Unbelievable....but I'm going to keep on trying.

Take care and thanks for your post.

Diva I sometimes get admonished when I mention Jerry too.  I wonder why people think just because you talk about them, it automatically means you are stuck in the past.  People talk about memories all them time, so why is it we are expected NOT to talk about those memories?  CRAZY assumptions drive me crazy :) !

Rainy -

I love what you did too.  I like the brick idea.  He was an animal lover too, so that seems like a good idea.

It's been important to me, too, that my husband's name is kept alive.  We have an unmarried adult son, so it's also a concern that our family line will extinguish one day. 

I became a founding donor for the Soaring Spirits Resilience Center at Schreiner University, where Vern's name is now on a wall at the center but I'd like to do more. Have thought about doing a scholarship at the college he attended, but not sure I have enough funds to do that. I like the bricks ... just having his name imbedded in something permanently feels right. He was cremated and I have his ashes in the house as he did not want to take up space with a grave. I've thought perhaps he'd be ok with having a columbarium niche with his name on it, and it would also be a landing space for me one day. Guess I need to take some time to investigate some of these options.


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