Each Legacy Film project that we complete at Sacred Stories is another reminder of the incredible power that stories have to change lives. When I first started this business, I thought of the finished Legacy Film product as the most important outcome from this work – the video recording of life stories for individuals and families to enjoy for months and years to come. Of course, the final videos we create are tremendous gifts. But my clients and I have discovered a much greater depth of impact.
Families I’ve worked with have told me about the surprising and positive benefits of these projects. And I have experienced this too. I learn something new every time I listen to another’s story, and I’ve walked away from every single interview with a sense of hope & affirmation about my own journey. I’ve come to understand as I’ve pursued this work, studied life story practices and the research that supports the power of stories, and lived with you through these pandemic times, it is connection and self-reflection (all the richness of the interview process) that are the greatest, and often unexpected, gifts. The benefits of the Legacy Film come from both the stories told and the telling. There are gifts in remembering moments we’ve had in life, and there are wonderful new memories in the present moment as we tell the stories again.
The way you did the video was extraordinary. I learned a lot of things about [my] grandma that I did not know. – Jeremy D
It felt good to think about our life together and how it has changed us for the better. – Geraldine E
Mom suffered a stroke …, was in the hospital a couple of weeks and passed [recerntly]. But I have to share with you that while in the hospital, I played the video for her and she intently watched it from beginning to end. It was as though she was watching it for the first time and she loved it! I cannot tell you how happy that made me. I truly cherish this video. – Patty R
When we had Whitney put together a legacy film featuring my 94-year-old mom, we expected that family members would appreciate hearing her stories. What we didn’t anticipate was how much my mom would enjoy the film! She watched it often, nodding and laughing or tearing up as she “heard” her own story over and over, reliving those precious moments each time. Will it reinforce those memories for her? I hope so! – Julie B
Life review is therapeutic and helps us remember (or discover!) our value and worth as human beings. Sharing our stories is good for our self-esteem, sense of belonging, and overall health & well-being. As you think about a Legacy Film project in 2022, I hope you will consider the gift of reminiscence for yourself or your favorite storyteller, the valuable connection and self-reflection that happens when someone listens to our stories, and the ripple effects of this kind of work on our communities and world.
Connection, self-satisfaction, and hope for the future: when you share in the stories of life, these are gifts you get that may surprise you & the people around you.