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The Notebook

Lessons from The Notebook about dying while remembering your best memories.

Photo of James McBennett
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The Notebook is a love story about Noah and Allie. The movie begins in their old age with Noah telling their life story starting with how they met. Allie has alzheimer's and is in a medical facility unable to remember her past. Noah is persistent and refuses to leave her side even though she can't remember him. Towards the end of the film, Allie remembers the story, she remembers Noah, it seems as if she remembers everything. Unfortunately these memories don't last long and quickly fade. They die that night hand-in-hand, a peaceful quiet death. Viewers watching the film cry with the sadness of death, but also from the happiness of love.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

This was the first film scene that came to mind when thinking about the good death. From a design perspective, I wonder could the room we spend our last days in be like Noah? Noah's role in this hospital scenes is to trigger memories from the past, could the design of the room add to this? It could be a collection of good memories on the wall, a whiteboard of comments from loved one's.

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Photo of Bobbi Siegmann

Thanks, James. I have not had anyone close to me use hospice but I just came upon a booklet from an organization called Healing Environments. Although they no longer publish the booklet called "A light in the mist- a journal of hope, vol 9, #1, 2004. It mentions in one part a program at Hope Hospice in Fort Meyers,FL that encouragespatients who want to share their life stories to work with high school students to write them down. They didn't go into great detail about questions but for those folks who want to leave their leagacies this sounded great. This combined with your ideas would be great.