How well do you know the people who matter most to you?
Chances are you know many things about them simply because there are memories you share with them - those moments in life you experienced together - and the family stories that are recounted over and over.
However, that's often just the surface.
You may know what happened on the day you graduated from high school - you could see your parents beaming proudly in the crowd. But have you ever asked your dad what he was feeling that day?
You have heard family stories about your parents' wedding - the minister mispronouncing your mom's name and the funny song your uncle sang at the reception. But have you ever asked your mom what she was thinking the moment before she started walking down the aisle?
Although we may know about some of the significant people, places and events that have shaped the lives of our loved ones, we don't know everything.
Sitting down with loved ones to talk about their lives can be rich and satisfying. Learning about memorable events, people, places, values and lessons they have learned can help bring you closer to people you care about most.
Sharing stories with loved ones can help you get to know them in new and different ways and can deepen and strengthen your relationship with them. Talking can help you (and them) better understand the life they lead - and give both of you a new appreciation for their unique life story.
Finding a way to start talking with a loved one may be the most difficult part; you may find, however, that once the conversation starts, it may be hard to stop.
Having a Meaningful Conversation
There are no rules for how to have the talk with a loved one, only that you make time to do it. Everyone has a story to tell and there's always more you can learn about the one-of-a-kind lives your loved ones have led and the impact they have made on others.
The following questions might be useful as you start talking to your loved ones. These are merely topics to help you get started; there isn't a set order and you don't need to cover everything in one conversation. Depending on with whom you having the talk - parents, grandparents, other relatives, friends - the things you may want to know and the questions you ask may be different from these suggestions.