By Debbie Brodsky
Most people don’t want to think about death. Not their own, nor of their loved ones. It’s easier to avoid thinking about it.
I have been creating video biographies for families for over ten years. Of the many objections I’ve had for people not creating a video of their lives, the one that’s always baffled me the most is when people say, “It’s morbid.” They think that by creating a video about their life, that it’s a sign of things to come – that somehow creating a video about their lives is going to somehow cause their death. And no one wants to think about that.
I understand. It feels like by telling your life story, you must be somehow at the end of that story.
Yet we know intellectually that we all are going to die at some point. For those with a terminal illness, that time may come sooner than later. And for those who are left behind, being able to experience a loved one after their death – to hear their voice and see their face light up as they speak – is an enormous gift.
The irony is that when those who are reluctant finally do agree to share their story on camera, they end up enjoying the process immensely. Yes, it may bring up strong emotions, and yes, it’s sometimes hard. But they actually enjoy going on this journey with me – telling the stories of the milestones they have reached, the challenges they have overcome, and the family members they cherished when they were young. They love looking through old pictures, and remembering things they hadn’t thought about in years. More than anything, it brings a sense of peace and relief. They feel a weight lifted. This gift that they’re creating – this legacy for generations to come – is more than a gift to the future. It’s a gift to their present selves honoring their storied past.
If you or someone you know has a terminal illness, creating a video to celebrate their life is one of the best things you can do for them – and for you.
For assistance and resources for creating your video biography, please visit http://www.dmbpictures.com
PS — I met Debbie when she conducted a seminar at HOPE CONNECTIONS in Bethesda, Maryland. If I could ‘roll back time’ I wish this is something I had done with my relatives. Just as there are no cell phones in Heaven, neither do they have video cameras. Before it’s too late, why not start a Legacy project in your family? Make a list of the people you want to honor, call and schedule your first session. Hint: Don’t procrastinate on this one.