Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What Does "Re-telling Your Story" Mean?

"Oh, I don't mean to be talking over and over about me," worried the widow sitting next to me. "I don't know why I find myself telling you all this."

I assured her she was fine. "It's what I do. I let people talk to me. I loved hearing your story."

"I don't want to bore anyone. And sometimes when I mention my husband I see the alarm on their face," she continued. "But we made so many memories together, and I still can't believe he's gone."

"Yes, I know. Tell me more . . ."

Re-telling your story is something most grieving people do whether they want to or not. I smile now when I remember how one of Bruce's friends called me a month after the funeral. After he asked the innocent question---"So, how are you?"---he got a 45 minute earful!

Have you told your story to anyone yet?

You'll probably have to tell it again. And again and again. That's just the way the healing works. A hundred years ago when many people lived with generations of family under one roof, telling your story came a little more naturally. At least maybe you could tell it to the baby while rocking her to sleep. But living alone in this day and age it takes a bit more effort to find a listening ear.

In the next couple weeks we'll talk about the variety of places where you may tell your story, and the different people who will be able to listen to you. Let's face it, if you tell your story to the same person over and over again, pretty soon they'll be hard to find!

You don't have to be a teacher or public speaker
to tell your story. And you don't have to sit in a circle!
But does telling your story mean you have to talk it out over and over again? No, it doesn't.

On Tuesdays we'll talk about different ways to tell your story too. It's not just talk. Handmade items, letters, coffee mugs, clothing, jewelry, shoes, tools, photos, home movies, music and many other items "tell" your story too. That's part of the reason we don't want other people coming in to clean out our closets!

Creative art, crafts, and other media also open a world of possibile ways to tell your story.

I'm looking forward to exploring these thoughts and ideas with you every Tuesday. I think you might discover a number of ways that work for you!


  1. im trying to find a way to tell my story but im not creative at all.i wouldnt know where to begin.
    thanks for listening.

  2. Many of us don't feel creative at all, and that's ok. To tell your story you don't need that "creative" label. Instead, take a photo, a souvenier, a letter....anything personal like that. And just talk about it. Maybe take a picture of it and email it to me or another friend. You are loved, you are interesting, you are valuable. You have a lot to offer others with sharing your experiences. Please tell me how it goes.


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