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The Mothers' Living Stories Project

Core Principles of Mothers' Living Stories

  • Every life holds at least one unique, meaningful story at its heart
  • It is good to know your own story and to express it in your own voice
  • After a loss or a major life challenge, reviewing and transmitting a life story and legacy can be therapeutic for the narrator, as well as for future recipients
  • Potential for healing takes place in the encounter between a mother, who discovers meaning and connection through telling her story, and a Listener, who creates the conditions for telling and receives the story in its entirety
  • Unconditional presence, witnessing, and deep listening are the ground of the healing encounter
  • All of us, especially parents, have a responsibility to prepare for death
  • Facing our own mortality can help us live more fully and meaningfully in the present
  • There is no one right way to live with serious illness or to face death
  • Ill parents have the right to choose or stop medical treatment without judgment from others
  • No one can predict another’s dying time; all life stories are “works in progress”
  • Ill and dying parents have much to teach all of us
  • Compassionate self-care and self-knowledge are necessary in caring for others
  • Community volunteers can be trained to be with the suffering of others and to record life stories
  • Volunteers and mothers each have a right to privacy and to their own values
  • The relationship created between the ill parent and the Volunteer Listener provides benefits to them both

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