Lasting Conversations

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Memoirs, Stories, Experiences…

told by the individual who has lived them, shared with the people they love.

For the Storyteller

Recording your life stories is a gift you can give to family and friends. When you record your experiences, you share yourself and preserve milestones of your life. Now is the time to remember, to sift, to weigh, to contribute, to give and to share.

For the Interviewer

This is an opportunity to capture, in your loved one’s voice, life stories they choose to share. During this poignant time, your loved one’s thoughts may be focusing on past events and people that had meaning and value. You might gather photographs and mementos in preparation for this conversation.

The Gift

The sharing of stories and experiences links generations. Recording these memories creates an opportunity for your loved one to connect with their history and to share with others..

The Process

  • Possible topics and questions are provided on the back of this page.
  • The patient is encouraged to choose an interviewer, which is typically a family member or friend. It is recommended to discuss ahead of time possible topics to be covered during the recording.
  • A KCH&PC volunteer conducts the recording session at your residence. They will call you and set up a time that is convenient for all.
  • At the time of the visit, the volunteer will set up the recording equipment, briefly run through the process of the recording session, and monitor the recording.
  • Get comfortable, find a relaxed easy position and enjoy the conversation with your loved one.
  • The recording lasts for approximately 45 minutes.
  • A photo will be taken at the end of the visit to be a part of the CD cover.
  • In 2-4 weeks, you will receive two CDs of the conversation.

The topics and questions below are intended only to facilitate the conversation. Review and discuss them in advance, circling areas you would like to talk about and possibly mark off areas not to discuss. Questions are best open ended, rather than those that can be answered with a “yes” or “no.” Keep the conversation natural by asking follow up questions, taking a topic of interest further during the interview. Consider ending with a question about “the most important lessons learned in life” or a statement about legacy; wisdom to pass along, wishes for the future or gratitude to share. This is your time, your recording, your story.

Family Heritage

  • What is your ethnic background?
  • Where is your mother’s/father’s family from?
  • What traditions have been passed down?

Parents

  • Who were your parents?
  • Where did your parents grow up?
  • How did they meet?
  • What are some childhood memories of your parents?
  • What do you remember best about each parent?
  • How did your parents earn a living?

Growing Up

  • When and where were you born?
  • Any special circumstances surrounding your birth?
  • Are you the oldest, middle, youngest child?
  • Any favorite stories about your siblings?
  • Best and worst memories of childhood?
  • Did you have a nickname and how did you get it?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • What were chores/tasks you had as a child?
  • Describe any pets you had.
  • Who were your best friends?
  • What did you and your friends do together?
  • Describe your neighborhood as a child.
  • Describe your childhood home.
  • What schools did you attend?
  • How did you get to school each day?
  • Who were memorable teachers?

Work

  • What are your memories of your first paying job?
  • What did you do for a living?
  • How did you choose this line of work?
  • Describe any experience in the Military.
  • How did the war change you?

Spirituality

  • Share something about your religious/spiritual life.
  • How have your beliefs changed over the years?
  • What was a profound spiritual moment?

Relationships

  • When did you first fall in love?
  • How did you meet your spouse/partner?
  • How did you propose?
  • What was the wedding or ceremony like?
  • Where did you honeymoon?
  • What were some of the best times together?
  • What were some of the more difficult moments?
  • Describe the first time you saw your child/children.
  • What are some of your favorite stories about the kids?
  • What were some special songs or activities you shared
  • with your children?
  • Are you a grandparent?
  • Describe a special memory or time with your
  • grandchildren?
  • Who were your long-time friends?
  • What kind of things did you like doing together?

Vacation/ Hobbies

  • What have been your main interests/activities?
  • What were your vacations like?
  • What is a favorite/worst vacation story?

Life

  • What is most important to you at this time?
  • Who has been the biggest influence on you?
  • How has your life been different that you imagined it
  • would be?
  • What might be possible regrets?
  • What are you most proud of in your life?
  • What lessons have you learned that you wish to pass
  • along?
  • How do you want to be remembered?