By Susan M. Graham, Certified Elder Law Attorney, Senior Edge Legal, Boise, Idaho
Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family. If I am fortunate, the table is filled with the same loved ones as last year. Some years faces are missing.
I remember as a child, sitting at the Thanksgiving table, listening to the adults share stories about their lives and the lives of their long dead family and friends. Each year I heard new stories and many of the same stories year after year. Now I am the “elder” and those who were older than me in my family are all gone and their stories are vague memories, like a dream that fades when I awake. I never wrote the stories down.
This blog is to remind you to do a better job than I did. The day after Thanksgiving is called “National Day of Listening.” It was created by Story Corps, a non-profit. They created a list of suggestions to collect stories. Some great questions to ask are:
- What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
- Who was the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?
- Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did they teach you?
- Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
- What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
- What is your earliest memory?
- Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along to me?
- What are you proudest of in your life?
- When in life have you felt most alone?
- How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
- How would you like to be remembered?
- What does your future hold?
- Is there anything that you’ve never told me but want to tell me now?
- Is there something about me that you’ve always wanted to know but have never asked?
For more information and resources, go to The Great Thanksgiving Listen on the internet. You will find lots of other good questions and suggestions.
My best wishes to you for a Happy Thanksgiving and Holiday Season.
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