Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Desire To Be Known

"As one gets older one's fear subsides. What becomes more and more important just to be known, known for all that you were during this brief stay. How sad it seems to me to leave this earth without those you love the most ever really knowing who you truly were." -The Bridges of Madison County

In the past three years, I have supported dozens of Arbor Hospice patients and their families in preserving patients' life stories on video and DVDs.

I have learned through those experiences that most of us have one fundamental thing in common as our lives near their end - we want to share what we have experienced and learned and to be known for who we uniquely are.

During the hour or two that it typically takes to record patient and family memories, patients share:
  • Life events and memories that no one else in history has had or will ever duplicate;
  • The simple but always profound wisdom that they have acquired over their lifetimes, no matter how long or brief life has been (the oldest patient was on the cusp of 101 and the youngest was 17); and
  • Special messages of encouragement and support to children, grandchildren and other loved ones that will resonate across generations.
It is not necessary to wait until the end of life to reveal to others who we are. Use every opportunity that presents itself to reveal to your loved ones what you have experienced and what your life has taught you?

This blog post was written by Dennis Sparks, Arbor Hospice Volunteer. You may contact Dennis by commenting below or emailing him at

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