I'm sorry for your loss but if I can suggest a backup nightly, weekly or monthly depending on your usage. There are several ways to do this by using cd's, dvd's, usb thumb or flash drives or a external hd.
You can do a complete backup or a incremental one that only backs up what was changed since the last backup.
If it were me i would do a full data backup and to help that I would save your data for programs in a folder with sub folders for each program. This makes it easy to setup the backup program to do only one folder for you.