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Record Your Life Story

We tend to avoid talking about death, dying, grief and loss despite it being something that will affect us all throughout life. There is so much value of documenting your life story as it is something that will become a treasured family keepsake once you’ve passed and be a great resource to use for a eulogy.

It is also a great way to leave a legacy for your loved ones, connect to your creative side, build stronger connections, and develop a real sense of purpose and reflection throughout the journaling process.

For families, the life story that is created creates a sense of connection that could have easily been lost across the generations. The quote “to understand where we’re going, we have to understand where we’ve been” rings very true.

There are many ways you can record your life story. Most people may know what they want to say in their life story and the messages they want to leave, but it is tricky being able to articulate this into words on paper, which is why there are so many different options like recording a video series or using a prompt journal from your local bookstore.

The great thing about recording your life story, is that it is YOURS. You can be the creative director in what you choose to share, and what stories you choose to tell. You can make it as long or as short as you like. You could choose to go chronologically, or even create chapters to showcase the key points in your life story.

You could think about including:

  • Your first love
  • Your greatest achievement in life
  • Your best memory as a child
  • Family tree information
  • Career history
  • Funny stories or memories
  • Any regrets or missed opportunities

Often, when you start journaling these key events down, it will jog other memories and prompt other emotions so that you can really write from the heart.

No matter whether your story is recorded on paper, online or on video; it’s important to tell a few key people where it is and how they can access it. You could consider leaving a spare copy with key loved ones, to ensure it’s not lost or forgotten.

Most hospices across New Zealand will offer a service where a life story can be created for you, or a loved one. Creating this piece is a real privilege – one that requires you to listen with your ears and eyes, one that requires you to listen for what is said but also what is not said. It allows the writer to enter the person’s world to find the colourful vocabulary that can enhance the story and use it to create a truly memorable piece of family history that will be treasured for years to come.

Get in touch with one of our celebrants if you would like to talk about creating a life story for you or your loved one.