Someone in your family is approaching the latter stage of their life. Whether you are talking about it with them or not, looking back on one’s life experiences is as natural as the very young anticipating future life experiences.
As we age, questions creep into our consciousness such as “Who am I? Did I make a difference? What is life all about? Does anyone really care? Will anyone remember me after I’m gone? What really happens after death?
Our previous blog, “Acknowledge the life of someone you love“, highlighted the importance of helping a parent or grandparent review their life. Doing so helps them answer some of these questions and as a result allows them to depart this world with a deeper sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and appreciation for their life. Just as importantly, having helped them you will have helped yourself. You will have dodged the bullet of regret that you never really got to know them, or failed to show the love and appreciation you had for them.
The impossible turned fun.
When I looked at the albums and boxes of photos and slides my parents had accumulated and stored away in the closet, it seemed the job was too big for any one person, But after thinking through the problem we found it helpful not to think about the job as one giant project, By realizing that the photo collection can be broken down into discrete phases of life, it began to look more like a fun and rewarding opportunity to capture just one short story at a time. It turned into somewhat of a tradition at family gatherings to take a group of photos relating to a specific time or subject and spend quality time sharing recollections.
OurStoriesAreUs.com was born from my need to create a system to organize, archive and record stories in an easy, fun and entertaining way. While having these stories to hand down to future generations is really great, what was even greater was the process. Engaging with mom and dad during the process was an enlightening journey that resulted in us bonding even more.
Bottom line, don’t put off helping your parents and grandparents capture their stories. Do it one short story at a time. You will never regret it.