Leaving a message for loved ones - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Leaving a message for loved ones

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By Cheryl Lasseter - bio|email|twitter

PEARL, MS (WLBT) - "I tell them all the time I'm not afraid of dying. I'm not," says Nan Nations of Sontag in Lawrence County. She has pancoast tumors, which form outside the lungs. It's terminal cancer. "I've told a couple members of my family that I feel this is my last Christmas."

On Friday, Nations sat in a Pearl motel room surrounded by strangers who were recording her life story on video tape. Nations is leaving guidance and reflections for her family members, for when she's gone.

A nonprofit corporation called LifeChronicles has been doing this across the country, and even abroad, for 13 years. The facilitator, the person behind the camera guiding the session, is LifeChronicles founder Kate Carter. It's an outlet for her talents, and compassion.

"We don't charge for what we do per se, we ask them to donate when they can, when they can't it's not an issue. No one is turned away," Carter says. "I had a woman who's 14-month-old child we taped before he died, with the family together. She said, I can't touch him or smell him, but I can see and hear him, and it means everything to me. Those are the things that keep us going," Carter explains.

Nations has a husband, a son, a grandchild, and another on the way.

"My daughter-in-law is learning to bake. She's not the greatest yet, but she's learning," Nations says with a chuckle. 

Although this project could have easily been done at home with the help of loved ones,  Nations chose LifeChronicles for a reason.

"We had attempted to do this ourselves. Because it's such a personal thing, it was hard to do with family," she says. "There could be things you may not be able to say right now that you can say to this (video camera), you can hear later. I'm hoping by doing this, some of them can get the closure they're gonna need."

The sessions go as long as the interviewee wants them to, and the final piece is edited together with family pictures.

Click here to learn more about LifeChronicles.

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