Life review is an important piece of counseling that I have studied and utilized in my work as a hospice social worker and volunteer. It’s the process of thinking back on one’s life and sharing this with another person. As a person brings their life to a close, this process can help a person know that they have left a legacy, that their life has had meaning and is of value.
This can be done with photos, scrapbooks, audio recordings, and video recording. It can be done entirely orally, between two people, amongst a family together, and with friends. Creating a permanent historical record (through journals, photo albums, collages, scrapbooks, family trees…) can be very meaningful for some families.
I’ve used aspects of life review in my own life. This past weekend I got to spend time with my Aunt Gayle, also a social worker. Sharing childhood stories has been something I’ve loved doing with her, connecting through our histories. Today I took the time to go to one of my childhood homes, where I lived from 6 years of age until I was 18. So many memories of my neighborhood friends with Sabrina, Stephanie, Justin, Katie, Beckie, Rachel, Brandon, and my sister. From learning to roller skate and riding bikes, to learning about soccer, May Day and sharing adventures in the orchards. Even with the difficult memories that I can remember living here, I’m ever so thankful for the good times in a place I called home.