About Lauren Befus

Lauren is an award-winning journalist and writer and founder of Memory Lane Jane Life Storytellers. With more than 20 years of writing, editing, interviewing and public speaking experience (Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Family Magazine, WOOD TV8, Natural Awakenings, Mercy Health, The Daily News, The Vineyard Church), Lauren brings a depth of skill and breadth of experience to telling your life story.

Never Forgotten

2020-05-25T15:51:27+00:00May 25th, 2020|

"The reason I know all of these stories is that my mom is a genealogist. But as she says, she’s a family storyteller. And she describes that across all her decades of research and interviews, the war story is the same: These are not numbers. Every life is unique, every loss grieved." — Emily Compagno Every life matters. Every story [...]

Trivia, Jokes and Chalk Art

2020-04-17T16:54:34+00:00April 16th, 2020|

As a life story writer, I've had the privilege of getting to know lots of staff and residents at retirement communities around Grand Rapids. They've shared with me the hardships they're facing because of Covid-19. We've been working hard as a family to bring joy and smiles to as many of them as possible. Here are a few recent [...]

Help Seniors Connect Safely During the Pandemic

2020-04-17T16:20:26+00:00April 16th, 2020|

Do you have older family members living alone during the Covid-19 outbreak? Here are some wonderful suggestions for decreasing social isolation among seniors while maintaining physical distance: Snail mail (Write letters to children, grandkids, longtime friends or strangers in need) Schedule daily or weekly phone calls, texts, email, FaceTime, Zoom, Facebook GrandPad (tablet designed for seniors; a good option [...]

Technology to Stay In Touch

2020-04-17T16:43:10+00:00April 16th, 2020|

The screen is black. "Lauren, are you there? Can you hear me? Can you see me?" "No, mom. Your video isn't on." "Where is that button? Where is your father? %&*@." Click. "Mom? Are you ok? Mom? MOM?" Technology isn't my parents forte. We rarely FaceTime. We don't hangout on Google or chat on WhatsApp. You'd be hard-pressed to find [...]

Putting the Pieces Together

2020-04-17T16:43:30+00:00March 10th, 2020|

Imagine opening a 2,000-piece puzzle box and dumping the pieces on the ground. There is no picture to follow, there is no guide...just thousands of puzzle pieces. Ready, set, build! When I talk to families about writing their loved ones' life stories, I often use this analogy to describe the process. After we get the transcriptions of the audio recording [...]

An Unforgettable Gift

2020-04-17T16:44:45+00:00December 9th, 2019|

"If there were things we were going to capture, this was our last chance. The clock was ticking. Were we going to have one more Thanksgiving, one more Christmas? We didn't know. But we did know that we wanted to give this book about my parents' life as a gift to the family—a gift to them, to us and [...]

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