By Charla Wright
With the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, we all have found we had extra time on our hands.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, there is a plethora of different outdoor activities that we can participate in, however, unless you enjoy solo hiking or bike rides, getting together with friends and family might be difficult with limitations on gatherings.
Bob Farik, a retired technical manager for a paper manufacturing company, has developed a program, video and process for utilizing our free time and using it to focus on creating our own eMemoirs. Bob has a background in photography, creating websites and started working on building websites to support his eMemoir ideas.
About nine years ago, Bob was discussing this idea with his daughter-in-law, and she said, “Nobody will sit for a two hour video!” So I got thinking about it and asked myself, how are we communicating with each other? It was obvious, we are communicating through websites on the internet. Bob took his thought and turned it into the idea of creating a series of classes and instruction to help others create their own family eMemoirs.
He found there was a need to learn how to videotape and how valuable these tapings became after the person passed. “When I go to the cemetery and see the headstones, I just wonder how many of the stories they take with them that will no longer be heard,” said Bob.
In his experience, he feels most people would like some type of legacy, an informational legacy.
Bob has a unique presentation on how to create your own eMemoir using the technology we already possess in the home to make it more affordable. For his own website and production of his eMemoir, he purchased a Super VHS at Goodwill for $0.99, which he uses for his own creations. He also uses his cell phone as a scanner for pictures, documents and to capture family relics. Bob states it is pretty easy to get started, but how do you take that first step? For most of us, it sounds pretty overwhelming to think about documenting a whole genealogical family line!
His advice is start the conversation with family, friends and peers. Family members might spark a starting point and then you can just run with the idea. Pick a theme, figure out your goal, hereditary illnesses, look for old pictures and find out as much information about that picture.
For example, where was the picture taken; who are the people in the picture; what year (era, decade)? What events took place the year you were born (World wars, polio, earthquakes, eruption of Mt. St. Helen). The rest can be built from this small spark or idea.
Another piece of advice is begin small and build from there. Start with yourself and grow to immediate family members, then move onto your spouse and his/her immediate family members. Also, by determining what information you have the most of, might present itself as the easiest way to get started(pictures, family tree lineage, etc.).
Having a DNA test completed could also be a launching pad for a eMemoir project as it provides the creator with a great deal of information that could be useful for present or future generations.
Websites, such as Ancestory.com, Church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City (https://www.familysearch.org/help/fhcenters/locations/saltlakecity-library) along with the DNA testing all can provide in-depth launching pads for an eMemoir project.
Creating a personalized eMemoir facilitates creativity. There is no limit on how to design or create a eMemoir. Some people use a scrapbook method, creating a page at a time. This method works especially well, if you are overwhelmed with the idea of creating a family lineage. Another method is using creating small video interviews and posting them on a free forum, such as YouTube.
The important message stressed by Bob, is to just take a first step, any step towards documenting family history and lineage. Once you are gone, so are the memories and that is the message Bob wants to clearly articulate.
If you would like more information about this subject, you can contact Bob Farik directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will be glad to work with you and provide guidance.
During the Holidays of 2020, when we are trying to stay healthy by not traveling and gathering in small groups of 10 or less, it's the perfect time to start this conversation with your loved ones when you gather on ZOOM, SKYPE, FACETIME or other mode of communication.
Article Written by: Charla Wright, Patient Care Representative
Assured Hospice of Clallam and Jefferson Counties