A Lasting Tale
A Lasting Tale
by Dimity Brassil, the founder of A Lasting TaleWednesday, April 13, 2022
“When Mum was diagnosed with cancer, I knew I wanted to have her life story recorded, no matter what. I felt it was enabling me to keep a piece of mum forever. She had so many amazing stories to tell that would be lost after she passed, and luckily Mum was open to the experience.”
These powerful words are from Carla, who engaged A Lasting Tale to record an audio life story of her mother back in 2020. What was wonderful is that Carla recorded her mum’s audio life story early on in their journey, so the storytelling process became an integral component of the memory-making and reflection process.
After her mother died, Carla shared this:
“I didn’t listen to Mum’s audio life story until a few weeks after she passed. Wow! It was magical to hear her voice. It brought joy, I laughed, I cried. It made me realise she wasn’t just my Mum – she was Linda, she was a person who had her adventures and career and friends. She was amazing.”
That’s the power of recording someone’s voice, of discovering their story. I love Carla’s reflection that Linda was not just a mum, she was a person too. A person, with her own adventures and career and friends. That she was – as Carla says with such wonderment and joy – amazing.
How to record a free audio life story
A Lasting Tale has created a free mobile app which provides a guided audio life story experience. It’s a valuable, free resource that palliative patients, their families, their friends, volunteers or carers can use to record important life reflections, classic stories and final life advice and words of wisdom.
It’s actually pretty simple to record audio using your phone. But it’s actually really hard to know what questions to ask in order to start a conversation that starts the process of story-telling, reflection and acceptance.
What’s great about the A Lasting Tale audio life story app is that our top 10 questions appear on screen, as you record the answers using your mobile phone. It’s super simple to use, and you can create as many free 30-minute recordings as you like.
After you record, each audio is stored in a simple and secure Recordings Library, so you can find them easily. You can also share the recordings to your email, messages etc and privately send them on to friends and family. You own the recordings – they are yours to save, use and listen to as you wish.
Our Top 10 life story questions
It was a hard task to find 10 questions that carry across a lifespan and encourage open and full responses. But we think we’ve done it! The questions listed below are the ones that appear on the screen as you use the A Lasting Tale mobile app. I’ve included them here below as they may assist you in creating a life story, no matter how you are looking to record it.
- What’s your earliest or happiest memory from childhood?
- Tell me about your school days. Who are the teachers you remember? Who was your best friend?
- What were you interested in as a child? (Note: You may need prompts such as sport, music, games, hobbies etc)
- How many jobs have you had, and what did you do? (Note: This question is designed all forms of “jobs” including unpaid work, creative lives etc)
- How did you meet the love of your life? What happened next?
- How did you feel when you became a parent for the first time? (Note: We recognise not everyone is a parent and you may want to skip this question, or substitute another important element of life where “the first time experiencing it” was life-changing).
- What are the major events of your lifetime and how did they impact you?
- What has changed the most in your lifetime? (Note: One that I love to ask women over 80, who often had most responsibility for housework is “Tell me the best household appliance invented in your lifetime, and why?” In the majority of cases, it’s the automatic washing machine!
- Looking back on your life, what moments have made you happiest?
- What life advice or wisdom would you like to pass on to your loved ones?
Wanting more life story questions?
We’ve had users ask for more than the 10 questions that appear in the app. Once palliative patients start storytelling, they often just want to keep on talking and get it all out of the head, and down in the hearts and ears of their loved ones.
A Lasting Tale provides more questions, split over the timeline of a life. In fact, we provide 72 life story questions as a downloadable, PDF guide. Here is just a small selection:
- What do you remember of your childhood home?
- Were you ever naughty? Can you tell me something naughty you did?
- Do you have any advice about working for the younger generation?
- Are you a traveller? If yes, tell us about some of your greatest adventures?
- What’s the best (and worst) thing about retirement?
- What activities bring you joy or fulfilment? Whey do they make you feel that way?
- What has motivated you to volunteer your time to the community?
- Do you perceive yourself as a risk-taker?
- What (and who) are you the proudest of?
We are offering Palliative Care Stories readers our 72 life story questions for free – simply visit our website – and enter the Discount Code LOVESTORIES at the Checkout.
How to download the A Lasting Tale audio life story app
Apple users: Search for “A Lasting Tale” in your Apple Store or download it here.
Google users: Search for “A Lasting Tale” on Google Play or download it here.
You may want to visit the A Lasting Tale website and access our User Guide if you want some help downloading and using the app: https://www.alastingtale.com/free-app-guide
This Palliative Care Stories article was written by Dimity Brassil, the founder of A Lasting Tale. A Lasting Tale records the life stories of people you love. Record an audio life story yourself using our free mobile app, or engage our caring interviewers for a professional, full-length podcast of your loved one’s life. We run our professional interviews across Australia in-home, or via Zoom. Visit www.alastingtale.com.
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