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Final Words with the Wall Street Journal
Episode 581st March 2023 • Eldercare Success • Nancy May, CareManity, LLC
00:00:00 00:32:07

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In this episode, my guest, James Hagerty, the Wall Street Journal Obituary writer, and I discuss how to capture the most interesting parts of our parents and loved ones’ life stories.  Too often, those final days come about, and we lose, forever, stories about what our parents did in their lifetimes. 

  • How does one start, though? 
  • What are the best questions to ask? 
  • Where do you search for things about them?
  • What happened in their times, that they might have difficulty remembering themselves? 

You might be surprised how enjoyable and important their stories can be to you, your siblings, your children, and your grandchildren. In some cases, historical societies, schools, and even museums may take notice.  As James says, “ if obituaries can’t be fun, what’s the point in dying?

Learn the best ways to draw out the more intriguing stories from those you love, from a Wall Street Journal Obituary writer who chronicled and summarized world-renowned celebrities, business moguls, famous artists, and some of those who made our world more interesting. 

Guest: James R. Hagerty, Author, Yours Truly, The Obituary Writer's Guide to Telling Your Life Story Based in Pittsburgh, James is the lead obituary writer for The Wall Street Journal. Over the past four decades, he has worked as a reporter, editor, and bureau chief for the WSJ and the International Herald Tribune in Hong Kong, London, Brussels, Paris, Atlanta, and New York. He is the author of "Yours Truly" and "The Fateful History of Fannie Mae.

The Washington Post named Yours Truly one of the 10 noteworthy books published in December 2022. "No one understands the treasures to be found in life stories better than James R. Hagerty," says the New York Times bestselling author, Bob Green in his advance review of the book.

Having written more than 1,000 obituaries in the past seven years, Hagerty believes that everyone has interesting stories to tell and that preserving them can be the best gift ever given to loved ones. “Being famous is not a prerequisite for valuing and preserving your best stories and the lessons you’ve learned," he says.

Host:  Nancy May, Author of How to Survive 911 Medical Emergencies, Step-by-Step Before, During, After!  is an expert in managing the path of step-by-step caring for aging parents, even from over 1200 miles away. For a free, fillable File-of-Life go to Nancy is also the Co-Founder of CareManity LLC, and the private FaceBook group, Eldercare Success.

Disclaimer: The views, perspectives, and opinions expressed in this show are those of the show guests and not directly those of the companies they serve or that of the host or the producer CareManity, LLC. The information discussed should not be considered or used as medical, legal, or financial advice. Please seek the advice of your own personal medical, legal or financial advisors as each person’s situation is different. (c) Copyright 2023 CareManity, LLC all rights reserved.

CareManity is a trademark of CareManity, LLC.

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