Pat McNees, a personal historian in Maryland, has written an interesting article entitled, “The Beneficial Effects of Life Story and Legacy Activities,” based upon her hospice experience. It’s worth a read:http://www.patmcnees.com/files/Mcnees_benefici.pdf
In my experience, it's often during the 2nd interview session that an individual begins to “put the pieces together” and appreciate the path their life has taken. The moment I enter the room, I notice a lilt in their voice, a new animation to the way they recount a story – an “energy” that wasn’t there during our first encounter.
And this physical and emotional transformation makes sense to me. We need to know that our lives have had meaning, and when we’ve been able to verbally walk through the events of our past and see the learning and growth that has taken place … then we are better able to celebrate where we’ve been and where we are today.
There is also an emotional weight, I believe, that is lifted from our shoulders when we’ve been able to pass on our values, hopes, beliefs, and advice to our loved ones. We feel a sense of peace in knowing that we’ve had a chance to say what is nearest to our hearts and leave a lasting legacy for our friends and families.
Regardless of our age, we all should make a little more time in our lives for reminiscing. It's an act of celebration, reminding us of the people, places, and moments that have defined and enriched our lives.