Handbook for Mortals : Enduring Loss : Questions to get you started

You might feel uncomfortable trying to tell the story of your life or encouraging a family member to hear it. Perhaps you grew up thinking it was important not to talk too much about yourself. Here are some questions to get you started:

1. Where were you born? Where did you grow up? What was school like when you were a child?

2. What did you like doing? What do you remember about your parents? If your parents were not born in this country, where did they come from? When did they arrive?

3. What are some of your earliest memories? Your happiest? Your saddest?

4. If you were in the military, where did you serve? What do you remember most?

5. If you worked, where was that? What did you do? Did you enjoy it? Do you wish you had done something else?

6. If you stayed home and raised children, what was that like? Do you have special memories?

7. When did you get married? Where? Did you take a wedding trip or honeymoon?

8. Did you travel? Where did you go?

9. Who were your best friends? What did you do together?

10. What are some of your favorite activities? Can you still do them? If you have a special skill, can you teach it to someone else?

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Handbook for Mortals book cover Copyright © 1999, 2006 by Joanne Lynn. This extract from the Handbook for Mortals by Joanne Lynn, M.D. and Joan Harrold, M.D. is used with permission. To learn more about improving care at the end of life visit the main web site for Americans for Better Care of the Dying.
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