For several decades, psychiatrists who work with the dying have been trying to come up with new psychotherapies that can help people cope with the reality of their death. One of these therapies asks the dying to tell the story of their life.
This end-of-life treatment, called dignity therapy, was created by a man named Harvey Chochinov.
Chochinov decided to [help patients] create a formal written narrative of the patient’s life — a document that could be passed on to whomever they chose. The patients would be asked a series of questions about their life history, and the parts they remember most or think are most important. Their answers would be transcribed and presented to them for editing until, after going back and forth with the therapist, a polished document resulted that could be passed on to the people that they loved.
National Public Radio full audio version available here: http://www.npr.org/2011/09/12/140336146/for-the-dying-a-chance-to-rewrite-life