By: Laura Bennett
These days we are inundated with pictures of our everyday lives. Sure, our social media may only capture the highlights, but as you scroll back through your phone’s camera roll, most of us would have a fairly good diary of key millstones, family events, and the many times our cat looked cute while sleeping.
For our grandparents though, the same can’t really be said. Much of their lives were lived without being constantly captured and, unless they were diligent with keeping a journal, the stories of their lived experiences are relegated to the words they shared in person and what we remember of our time together.
When our loved ones pass away – especially the elderly ones – we can be left without much of a record of who they were and the unique voice they brought to their stories.
This reality, and the loss of her own dad and sister in quick succession, prompted Dimity Brassil to launch her business A Lasting Tale.
Through the questions on their free app or via their professional podcasting service, A Lasting Tale enables families to record key information and stories from their loved ones that they can then keep as a personalised audio series to remember them by.
“When my father and sister died, I realised that we really didn’t have a lot of history recorded about them – particularly of my sister who had a young child,” Dimity said in an interview.
“I realised that pretty soon we would forget the sound of her voice, and that we hadn’t captured a lot of her stories in her voice for her daughter to hear.
“I took my creative juices and my work as a writer and producer [and] I decided to not let that happen to our family again.”
“I took my creative juices and my work as a writer and producer [and] I decided to not let that happen to our family again,” – A Lasting Tale founder Dimity Brassil
Pre-empting the inevitable passing of her mother Anne, Dimity recorded an interview with her, sparking the idea to start a business that helps other people do the same.
“We all have easier access to the technology to record audio [but] most people still don’t have the confidence, or the training, to know what questions to ask or how to get the conversations started,” she said.
It can also be awkward to interview your own family.
“Interviewing my mother is still one of the hardest interviews I’ve ever done,” Dimity said.
“It can be hard to ask the questions you might really want to ask – everybody has history with their parents or grandparents.”
With a professional coming in, they can be a “kind, caring stranger” and often get content from our relatives we might not be able to pull from them.
As she’s taken time to listen to the stories of many older guests, Dimity said the biggest life lesson she’s learned is “based around the premise of loving others as I have loved you”.
Dimity said the biggest life lesson she’s learned is “based around the premise of loving others as I have loved you”.
“They all talk about how much love and respect for their families and communities has mattered to them in the end,” she said.
“The acquisition of material possessions and career goals is still an important element, of life, but it is never, ever, part of the wisdom that they want to pass on to their families.
“Normally they say things like, ‘love your family, respect others, and be true to yourself and do what you want to do’, but make sure that doing what you want to do doesn’t adversely impact the people that you love and the people you have responsibility for.
“I’ve also learned to say ‘yes’ to many ‘gluten-full’ treats, and had the best passionfruit slice in regional NSW.”
Find out more about A Lasting Tale via their website.
Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.
About the Author: Laura is a media professional, broadcaster and writer from Sydney, Australia.