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Supporting terminally ill patients & those who care for them

quote.gif (having a family support volunteer meant) I was able to have time out to follow my own interests and attend to errands knowing I was leaving him in good hands. This provided a change of company for him and gave me renewed energy and motivation to carry on with caring for him.
Judy, wife of a patient

Life review service

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Reflections on your life and telling your story

Life stories

Throughout our lives we tell stories about the things that happen to us. When we share those stories we laugh, we sigh, we reflect, we revise, and we deepen our understanding of ourselves, the world we have lived in and our place in the continuum.
The Life Story Service offers you the opportunity to record and preserve your memories. Guided by an experienced life story facilitator you record, on tape, at your own pace and at a suitable time, the experiences of a lifetime. The oral history recording is then faithfully transcribed by the life story facilitator and forms the text of your life story.
Recording a life story provides you with an opportunity to reflect on a life and to make sense of that life.  It allows you to leave behind something of yourself for your loved ones.
Every life is unique and precious. When we record our stories we affirm our life experience. Sifting through the memories is a profoundly meditative act that enriches our being.  When we attend to individual recollections we discover meanings that are universal and add up to something more than we ever realised.

The recording

The life story facilitator will conduct the life story recording either at the Hospice or in your home, at a time that is convenient to you.  It may take one or several sessions to complete the story.  The timeframe and content of each session will be determined by you.  Following transcription of the tape, you will be given an opportunity to read, edit and approve the text before it goes to print.

A card, a letter, a longer story

The shape and size of the story can vary according to your requirements.  It might be a short 3 page life story or a longer 15 page story or anything in between.  You may choose to write a card to someone special.  Sometimes a parent wishes to write a message to a child.  It might be a few words or a longer letter, or a detailed recording of your life.

Photos, Poems, Quotations

Your life story can also include family photographs, letters, diary entries, drawings, painting, a favourite recipe, songs, poetry, spiritual and philosophical quotations…    These are supplied at the time of the life story recording with titles and labels for inclusion in the text.   They will be returned when the story has been collated.
The completed life story
Your life story can be any shape, size or format - a card, a letter, a handmade book or a longer story.  The story might be just for you or you might want to pass it on to friends and family.  Longer life stories are presented in a Warkworth Wellsford Hospice standardised format.  It is spiral bound with single-sided A4 pages and uses a standardized font, line spacing, headings, and titles.  You can view samples of life stories at the hospice.

Enquiries about the Life Story Service

can be directed to:

Monica Donnelly
Warkworth Wellsford Hospice
PO Box 517
51 Woodcocks Rd

Phone (09) 425 9535
Fax (09) 425 9545
email: monica.donnelly@hospicehouse.org.nz

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