topic | sharing your story


Below is a list of questions that can be used when preparing a life story to be shared with others.
 

General questions:

  • What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
  • Describe influential people in your life and why they were signficant?
  • What important lessons did you learn and how did you learn them?
  • Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
  • What signficant life memories do you want to pass on to others?
  • What memories of me would you like to share?
  • Are there funny or embarrassing stories your family tells about you?
  • What wisdom would you pass on if this was our last conversation?
  • What are you most proud of about your life?
  • What are your hopes and dreams me and my decendents?
  • How would you like to be remembered?
  • Do you have any regrets?
  • Were there any times in life when you felt alone?
  • What unexpected things happened in your life?
  • If you were to live your life over, what would you do differently?
  • Is there anything you want to share that you never told me before?
  • Is there anything about me you want to know but never asked?
  • What are your messages to future generations listening to this?

Questions about childhood:

  • When and where were you born?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • What did you look like?
  • What is your earliest memory?
  • How would you describe yourself as a child? Were you happy?
  • What were your best and worst memories of childhood?
  • Who were your parents and what were they like?
  • How was your relationship with your parents?
  • Did you get into trouble? What was the worst thing you did?
  • Do you have any siblings? What were they like growing up?
  • Did you have a nickname? How did you get it?
  • Who were your best friends? What were they like?
  • How would you describe a perfect day when you were young?
  • What did you think your life would be like when you were older?
  • Do you have any favorite stories from your childhood?

Questions about school:

  • Where did you go to elementary, middle school, high school, & college?
  • Did you enjoy school?
  • What kind of student were you?
  • What did you do for fun?
  • How would your classmates remember you?
  • Are you still friends with anyone from that time in your life?
  • What are your best & worst memories of school and college?
  • What teacher most influenced your life?
  • Do you have any stories from school to share?

Love, relationships, marriage, and children:

  • When did you first fall in love?
  • Can you tell me about your first kiss?
  • What was your first serious relationship?
  • Do you have a love of your life?
  • Do you believe in love at first sight?
  • Do you ever think about previous love relationships?
  • What lessons have you learned from your relationships?
  • How did you meet your husband/wife?
  • How did you know he/she was "the one"?
  • How did you propose?
  • What were the best times and most difficult times in your marriage?
  • Did you ever think of getting divorced?
  • Did you ever get divorced? Can you tell me about it?
  • What advice do you have for young couples?
  • Please share a story from your marriage or about your husband/wife.
  • When did you first find out that you'd be a parent? How did you feel?
  • Can you describe the moment when you saw your child for the first time?
  • How has being a parent changed you?
  • What are your dreams for your children?
  • Do you remember when your last child left home for good?
  • Do you have any favorite stories about your kids

Work, career, military service, and retirement:

  • What do you do or did you do for a living?
  • What path led you to this line of work?
  • What person or event most influenced your career?
  • Do you like your career? Do you like your job?
  • Is your work similar to what you wanted to be when growing up?
  • What work/career lessons have you learned?
  • If you could switch careers, what would you like to do instead?
  • Were you in the military? When? How long?
  • Were you in combat or in a war? What was it like?
  • How did military service change you? What lessons did you learn?
  • During your service, can you recall times when you were afraid?
  • What are your strongest memories from your time in the military?
  • When did you retire or when do you plan to retire?
  • What do you plan (or did you plan) to do in your retirement?
  • What career advice would you give to others?

Religion, spirituality, and beliefs:

  • Please describe your religious or spiritual beliefs?
  • Have you experienced any miracles?
  • What was the most profound spiritual moment of your life?
  • Do you believe in God?
  • Do you believe in the after-life? What do you think it will be like?
  • When you meet God, what do you want to say to Him/Her?

Questions to ask a friend or colleague:

  • Why did we become friends and what makes us good friends?
  • Was there a time when you didn't like me?
  • How would you describe me? How would you describe yourself?
  • Where will we be in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
  • What would cause our friendship to come apart?
  • If you could interview anyone from your life living or dead, but not a celebrity, who would it be and why?

Questions to ask parents:

  • What were your thoughts when you first saw me?
  • How did you choose my name?
  • What was I like as a baby? As a young child?
  • Do you remember any of the songs you used to sing to me?
  • Can you sing them now?
  • What were my siblings like?
  • What were the hardest moments you had when I was growing up?
  • If you could do everything again, would you raise me differently?
  • What are your dreams for me?
  • What things about me are you proud of?
  • What advice would you give me about raising my own kids?

Questions to ask grandparents:

  • Where did you grow up?
  • What was your childhood like?
  • Who were your favorite relatives?
  • Do you remember any of the stories they used to tell you?
  • How did you and grandma/grandpa meet?
  • What was my mom/dad like growing up?
  • Do you remember any songs that you used to sing to her/him?
  • Can you sing any of these songs now?
  • Was she/he well-behaved?
  • What is the worst thing she/he ever did?
  • What were your parents like?
  • What were your grandparents like?
  • How would you like to be remembered?
  • What things about me are you proud of?

Asking relatives about family heritage:

  • What is your ethnic background?
  • Where is your mom's family from? Where is your dad's family from?
  • Have you ever been there? What was that experience like?
  • What traditions have been passed down in your family?
  • Do you remember any of the stories they used to tell you?
  • What are the classic family stories? Jokes? Songs?
  • Are there any family heroes? Are there any family conflicts?
  • Are there relatives you recommend that I talk to?
  • Are there any geneological records? How can I find them?

Specific questions to ask someone who is seriously or terminally ill:

  • Can you tell me about your illness?
  • Do you think about dying? Are you scared?
  • How do you imagine your death?
  • Do you believe in an after-life?
  • Has your life view changed from before the time you were diagnosed?
  • Do you have any last wishes?
  • Has this illness changed you? What have you learned?
  • How do you want to be remembered?

Questions to ask about a loved who's died:

  • What was your relationship to _____?
  • Tell me about _____.
  • What is your first memory of _____?
  • What is your best memory of _____?
  • What is your most vivid memory of _____?
  • What did _____ mean to you?
  • Are you comfortable/ can you talk about the death of _____?
  • How did _____ die?
  • What has been the hardest thing about losing _____?
  • What would you ask _____ if _____ were here today?
  • What do you miss most about _____?
  • How do you think _____ would want to be remembered?
  • Can you talk about the biggest obstacles _____ overcame in life?
  • Was there anything you and _____ had conflicts about?
  • What about _____ makes you smile?
  • What was your relationship like?
  • What did _____ look like?
  • Did you have any favorite jokes _____ used to tell?
  • Do you have any stories you want to share about _____?
  • What were this person's hopes and dreams for the future?
  • Is there something about _____ that you think no one else knows?
  • How are you different now than you were before you lost _____?
  • What is the image of _____ that persists?
  • Do you have any traditions to honor _____?
  • What has helped you the most in your grief?
  • What are the hardest times?


 



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