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Continued: Recording memories, advice and love: Dying patients find support in making farewell videos

  • Article by: JIM FITZGERALD , Associated Press
  • Last update: July 5, 2014 - 5:30 PM

Patients who want to make a video are given an interviewer, usually a volunteer health care professional who tries to take subjects through their lives. One prompt that always brings joy, Rubenstein said, is to talk about the day patients found out they'd be parents.

"Then we get into the first step, the first words, all the fun moments."

The videos run between an hour and 90 minutes and include photos, documents, music and interaction with the family.

Kerry Glass, 41, a former nursing home art therapist who runs Memories Live, says she prompts patients to talk about the overview of their lives as well as details: "the house you grew up in, your favorite game, your first job, your first car."

In one video, a man talks about growing up in a family of 10 in which the boys could never get into the bathroom and "would have to go outside to take care of whatever we had to take care of." Another talks about spaghetti and meatballs and says, "Marrying into an Italian family was probably the best move I ever made." A woman says she still gets "fluttery in my heart" when her husband enters a room.

Ngbokoli is enthusiastic about her video and says she's recording more family moments in hopes of being around to update it in a few years.

"It's a nasty cancer that I have, but I'm responding well," she said. "Every day's a gift, so as long as I'm here, why not document it?"

___

Associated Press researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.

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