In my life I have had 3 family members die from Cancer. My Grandmother, my Great Aunt, and my Mother. I was able to spend time with all 3 of them before they died, and yes looking back there are things I wish I had asked them before they passed. When you are going through this time you don't think to ask important questions, and you don't want to burden them with having to answer family "mysteries". I was a typical kid, always asking questions, being nosy, etc. But I wish I had asked the important things. My mom had a lot of secrets, some of them I have shared, some of them I am just now learning about and will share in the future.
I came across this list recently and I thought how wonderful it would have been to document these things, or at least just ask these questions to someone you love.
Someday it will be too late, and you will wish you knew more of these things.
1. What comes to mind when you think about growing up in [hometown]?
2. What did you love to do as a kid, before high school?
3. What did you love to do in high school?
4. What do remember most about your teenage years?
5. What do you remember most about your mom (grandma)?
6. What was most important to her?
7. What do you remember most about your dad (grandpa)?
8. What was most important to him?
9. If grandma and grandpa had a message to you and their grandchildren, what do you think it is?
10. How did you meet [spouse] and know (s)he was the one?
11. How did you choose your career and what was your favorite part about it?
12. What made you successful at work?
13. What did you believe about yourself that helped you become successful and deal with hard times?
14. What times in your life truly “tested your mettle,” and what did you learn about yourself by dealing (or not dealing) with them?
15. What three events most shaped your life?
16. What do you remember about when each of us was born?
17. Were you ever scared to be a parent?
18. What three words would you say represented your approach to parenting and why?
19. When you think about [sibling] how would you describe him?
20. What message do you have for [sibling] that you want him to always keep in mind?
[Do the last two questions above for each sibling in your family]
21. When you think about [spouse], how would you describe her/him?
22. What message do you have for [spouse] that you want her/him to always keep in mind?
23. What three words would you say best describe who you tried to be in life and how you want to be remembered?
24. When they think about their careers, what do you want your children to focus on?
25. What have you learned about other people in life? (Trustworthy, kind or not and mean)?
26. What do you think the world needs more of right now?
27. What do you believe people want the most in life?
28. What were the three best decisions you’ve ever made?
29. What are you most proud of in life?
30. What were five of the most positive moments of your life?
31. What message would you like to share with your family?
32. What are you most thankful for?