My favourite memories of interviewing the elderly

In my years interviewing older people to help them tell their stories, there have been some beautiful moments and teachings that remind me why I'm so passionate about helping people share their stories with their loved ones.

Here are just a few.

Everyone has an interesting story

When I'm interviewing, the genuine breakthrough moment with whoever I’m talking to comes when they realise their stories are interesting.

This is because I'm just a stranger to them. Unlike a friend or family member,  I'm not obliged to tell them they're interesting, but the thing is, without fail, everyone is!

The self-doubt I help my subjects overcome often manifests itself in thoughts like "my family wouldn't find this interesting". 

However, what might seem normal to them, such as minor details about their childhood in a bygone era, is fascinating for those who never lived through it.

Being able to draw from them stories of a world that many of us have never experienced makes every older person's story fascinating.

When they realise their stories are interesting, it makes my subjects feel valuable.  

Stories heal family wounds

It's amazing what writing someone's story can do for that person's family.

On one particular occasion, I wrote a story in which my subject was comfortable enough to share with me a family secret that no one else knew.

Once this secret was revealed in their story, it helped that person's family have a greater understanding of themselves and the broader family unit. 

That story healed a lot of wounds, ultimately strengthening the family's relationship.

The impact of telling family stories

Seeing relatives overcome with emotion from hearing a loved one's story is very powerful.

I've seen my subjects' adult children cry after reading their parent's story.

And that isn't a bad thing!

Evoking powerful emotions helps build deeper connections with the ones you love.

Everyone has a story to tell, so why not give your loved ones the chance to share theirs?

I can help with turning that dream into a reality. I'll ask the questions you may never have thought of, turn the answers into a published work and make sure the process is a fun activity for your loved one!

Help your loved ones share their story.

Get in contact with me.

 

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