Last year I saw a feature on the news about a wonderful organization, Memories Live and was intrigued to find out more. Memories Live helps people with life-limiting illnesses to preserve their images, stories and wisdom by creating personalized movies to pass on to their loved ones. I thought this was a wonderful service so I reached out to Kerry Glass, the founder of Memories Live and she was so nice to answer some questions for me to share with you.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what Memories Live is and does?
I am currently a stay at home mom who founded a non-profit called Memories Live. I have a Masters in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute and a BFA from Rutgers University. I worked as an Art Therapist at a nursing home in Riverdale, NY and left to pursue motherhood. The concept of ML was born when I learned that a woman in my community passed away at the age of 39 from lung cancer. Her children were around the same age as mine at that time, 1 and 3. It struck me that these children would never really know their mother. The purpose of Memories Live is to give individuals who have life-limiting illnesses the opportunity to create a movie about themselves to tell their stories, share their wisdom and celebrate their lives.
What is your fee for making a video?
The movies are made at no cost. I am donation supported.
What has the feedback been like from the films you’ve made?
I have only received positive feedback. Children have followed up with me to share how their parent shared a story they have never heard before. Spouses have told me how nice it is to see and hear their loved one. Clients themselves feel the process is liberating.
What are some examples of questions film participants are asked?
Where were you born? Who do you look like? Describe a perfect day? What advice to you have for your child for raising children?
Why should people think about making a video like this?
The process of creating the movies is so empowering for my clients in many ways. As they are experiencing this stage in their lives they are filled with many different emotions, and they are uplifted and energized to have the opportunity to create something for their families. They are inspired by the process to celebrate their lives in a unique way and leave valuable advice to their loved ones. They are given the opportunity to reflect on their lives, sharing stories and experiences that can be passed down to future generations.
Are people nervous about documenting their lives on camera?
I would say the first few minutes is a little nerve racking for my clients. Then they get used to me and the camera and focus on the questions.
I recently saw Memories Live featured on TV, has the exposure been positive from that feature?
Yes, the exposure was very positive. I received many emails from people who were not ill simply telling me what a wonderful service I am providing.
Do you offer video services for people who aren’t sick and want to document their lives on film? No not now, but I may in the future.
For people who aren’t sick but want to document their lives would you give them any advice for making a film? Collect stories and words of wisdom that you would like to be passed on to future generations. Relax and tell stories to the camera as if it is the first time you are telling it. Be yourself and enjoy celebrating your life!
Anything you want to add?
The movie is a celebration of ones life, I never ask about their illness.
Many thanks to Kerry Glass for taking the time to answer some of my questions about Memories Live. To find out more information about Memories Live please visit their website.