Documenting Your Life Story
Perhaps you’ll notice the brevity in this month’s post. What I hope you will take away after reading is the heartfelt sentiment from which I write, hoping to encourage you to document your life story or that of a loved one.
About 3.5 years ago, my husband and I came across a company called StoryCorps. StoryCorps has expertly crafted their skill in helping people—you guessed it—tell their stories. They facilitate conversations between all kinds of people—brothers and sisters, parents and children, best friends, grandparents and grandchildren. Their mission is, in their own words:
“…to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.
Over Mother’s Day weekend in 2016, we decided to enlist the help of StoryCorps to document the words and memories of my mother-in-law as she was battling cancer. We chose to do an audio and a video recording, so her grandchildren (her first was only 2 months old at the time) would get to hear her voice and see her expressions as she answered questions such as, How do you want to be remembered? What was your favorite trip you ever took? Where did you grow up? These are questions we had not once thought to ask. She passed away 2 weeks later. We used excerpts from the StoryCorps recordings at her memorial service. Not a day passes that we aren’t grateful and comforted by them.
Imagine having a connection to a grandparent you never met. Imagine the feeling of watching your loved one talk to grandchildren they will never know. And beyond all of these warm feelings of connection, there are actual health benefits to documenting your life story.
Write it down, Dictate it. Record it. However you choose to document a life story, please make the time to do it. A simple internet search will uncover a variety of products that can offer prompts and formats to assist you. Capture the words of wisdom, the treasured memories and the irreplaceable sentiments that all too often slip away after a loved one is gone.