In 2008, a New Jersey mother was stricken with lung cancer and taken from her family too soon. She left behind not only a husband, but also two children under the age of six. Upon hearing this story, I was emotionally struck not only by the devastation that this family must have felt, but even more so by the notion that there were two young children who would never “know their mother.”
As a mother of two young children myself, I felt if the mother had created a video recording of her life, her hopes and dreams for her kids, perhaps her children would have had some solace and some sense of who their mom was. That hope was what drove me to create a not-for-profit organization called Memories Live whose mission is to help people create a personalized life movie they can share with loved ones. These movies, compilations of interviews, photos, and other important content, are intended to preserve the memories of the terminally ill eternally.
People often don’t know what to leave behind. Jewelry, photographs and mementos only capture a moment in time. Memories Live creates life story movies that last forever. Whether one chooses to include family milestones, advice for children or grandchildren or just stories about important life experiences, their movie serves as an important “leave behind” legacy for loved ones.
Memories Live creates truly moving movies that allow one to talk to future generations and give them a clear window into who one was. These life movies are an everlasting gift that will preserve a legacy and provide an important connection for families after one is gone.
I created Memories Live with the intent of providing a cost-free service (donation supported) that could be valuable in a range of situations. Having worked as an art therapist at a nursing home, I believe that the senior population and supporting family members and caregivers have a deep need for this type of service.
A Memories Live movie will:
- Capture your stories in movie form
- Celebrate your life with your family
- Preserve your roots
- Make a connection with your children and grandchildren
- Keep your memories alive long after you are gone
- Share what matters most
- Give family members the chance to see you and hear your voice after you are gone
- Serve as a source for advice for family members, a history of your family and life experiences
- Allow your family members to look back years later and see parts of themselves in you
From start to finish, the Memories Live movie process should take between three and four weeks. Movies are taped in either the client’s home or preferred setting. Currently I am in the NYC metro area but can work with clients elsewhere if travel is provided. The core interview takes approximately two hours. Questions are sent prior to interview to allow you to prepare and for me to help guide the discussion and develop the direction of the movie; questions and conversation starters are centered on life events and milestones. Video will be edited with agreed upon musical selections and includes photographs or memorabilia. The final product (DVD) is combination of “live” movie footage, relevant music and personal photographs that makes for the most meaningful movies – a lasting gift and a legacy captured live for family members to treasure.
To find out more about Memories Live or make the first step in creating your movie, visit www.MemoriesLive.org, or you can contact me directly at 646-245-1698 or