When I first had the idea to write biographies for people I had a very succinct idea about what I was going to offer and what my clients would receive. Part of the planning to launch any business requires at least this much.
However, I was not long into my journey with ‘It’s Your Story’ when I realised that the work I was undertaking with my clients would never be linear.
Matters of the heart rarely are.
What I mean is that the main product I offer is a ten-week project where I interview and record my client telling me stories and sharing memories about their life. I then transcribe and edit the work, get it bound and present it to my client. That is my version of a straight line.
The reality is that each project has had profound far-reaching effects on each of my clients and their families.
For some, it has allowed a sense of completion before their death. They have felt peace in the knowledge that not only are their ‘affairs in order’, but that they will be remembered, as they told it, for future generations.
This brings a feeling of harmony and peace to the family, which in turn challenges their grief.
Others have used the experience to begin a new phase of travel in search of family histories is far off lands. A new lease of life comes from the act of recording their past. One of my clients who embarked on such a journey said,
'It’s like I have lifted a weight from my heart, I have given myself the freedom . All the hardship from my childhood has been removed from my heart and I now have a lightness that is fuelling my need to discover where my family came from.'
It’s magical for me to bear witness to life-changing emotions, it is the emotions in our lives that create the shape, the texture and form that will take us off the linear path and though still moving forward, we can go no other way, we can feel our way to a new direction.