My name is Laurie Fisher. I’m a Personal Historian and also a Legacy Planner certified by the International Association of Story Keepers (I-ASK), a member of the Association of Personal Historians (APH) and an affiliate of LegacyStories.org. I’m also a Spiritual Caregiver at a local hospice. As part of my job I help patients do a life review. Getting patients to review their lives helps me to not only get to know them better but it gives them an opportunity to process events and to maybe see things in a new way, with a new perspective, to gain insight as to their purpose for being here on this earth.
Many people want to “someday” write down their memoirs but never seem to get around to it. Being able to offer to record these life review conversations can be such a blessing to our patients and their loved ones. It’s fun and easy. We even encourage other family members to join in on the conversation. They can help the patient remember and add important details. Some family members are surprised when they hear stories that they may never have even heard before.
Sometimes the patients are a little apprehensive about doing a recording. A lot of them say that they didn’t do anything really significant with their lives. They didn’t do anything to become rich or famous. They think, “Who wants to hear about my life? I wasn’t anyone special.” When someone says this to me I always ask them if they had someone, maybe a parent or grandparent, that they dearly loved that was no longer living. They can usually think of someone fairly quickly. Then I ask them, “Wouldn’t you have loved to have a recording of their voice in an ordinary conversation?” The content doesn’t even matter to those left behind. It’s just being able to hear their voice again. Having them tell their life story is a bonus.
It’s a way for our patients to leave a legacy to their loved ones that will be cherished for many years to come. In many situations it may be the only thing that they have to leave to their heirs.
Listening to hospice patients tell their stories has truly touched my life and I’m thrilled that those stories will be preserved for generations to come, but wanted to be able to offer this amazing service to others. There’s no reason that we should wait until our final days to create our legacy. We all have a story to tell. Let me help you preserve yours so that you can pass it on.