In this TED residency talk, Bob Stein reveals his transition into using a new ritual to mark his later life. He proposes a new tradition of giving away your things and sharing the stories behind them as you get older, to reflect on your life so far, open conversations and connections that might not happen otherwise and move into the next phase prepared for whatever might come next.


 Your Name: Email:
  • J. Magill

    This was perfect for a 68 year old to hear. I knew it was time to pass things along but I didn't include the idea of the stories behind them. Great idea.

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    Yes, share your possessions and the stories with another: this is what truly equals living and connecting!

  • Vasudev

    I am 66 and I think this is a very good idea. Sharing stories of preserved emotionally precious objects would be nice, but I feel reliving those moments would make me love the object again and may be cling to it ? Have to try and see how it feels to give away those things

  • Luz Lopez

    I’m in my 40s, and I have been giving my priced possessions to my teenagers. I want them to know why I value these objects and tell them the stories behind them. It helps us build connections with our ancestors and help keep their memory alive.

  • Lijo Chacko

    This is a new idea for me. So nice, will put it into action. Thank you!

  • Rev. Jan Carlsson-Bull

    The reality of needing rituals for our closing chapters. In a week I am beginning a series of workshops for congregants in the church that I serve as a Unitarian Universalist minster. I'm calling it: "Closing Chapters: End of Life Planning". Your ritual is a concrete offering for participants. I think I'll call it "Stuff Stories". All that "stuff" that holds meaning only with the stories that accompany them is alive with stories. This ritual is doable, strategic, and likely transformative for all who choose to let go and share with grace and gratitude. Thank you, Bob!

  • Carol Joyce

    Like you, Bob. Truly original! Ritual in a time of chaos Offering wisdom and connection. Thanks!

  • Elisa

    How moving to imagine an intergenerational sharing of history and wisdom gained using objects and memory through story. Every person has these stories to tell and our young ones need to hear them. Thank you Bob.

  • maryagnes

    practical, profound and useful for this lifepassage of elderhood; everyone who's retiring or just (s)aging should view and discuss; thanks sooooooooooooooo much!

  • Lora

    One of the BEST ideas ever! I have helped clean the houses of 4 of my family members and would have loved to have had this wisdom. I am going to do this for my son. Thank YOU!

  • Jimena

    Fantastic idea, I shall start right away! Thanks for such a great plan.

  • Dominic

    All about connections and not stuff - thank you for posting

  • Lisa

    I would love to know him. He has a kind, gentle soul...

  • Cindy

    A great guy with a genius soul!

  • Lori Greenleaf

    Wonderful idea

  • Page 1

  • Find out about Swedish Death Cleaning even if you aren’t about to die or very old.
  • Telling your story to a loving, attentive witness will not only help you heal, but will give voice and help connect to those who hear it.
  • Is there an item with a story that you could pass on to someone else? Something that might connect to their life? Pass it on with the story.  

Recent Pledges On ...

Related Videos