30 Questions to Ask Your Parents Before It's Too Late

Brendon Burchard.jpg
But she wasn’t around, and that’s the thing when your parents die, you feel like instead of going in to every fight with backup, you are going into every fight alone.
— Mitch Albom

I can't imagine the feeling of losing a parent, and I don't even want to. But I observe people as they experience grief, and I wonder how they deal with it.

If there is a way to prepare for the grief that comes with the loss of a parent, this may just be the answer: interview your parents before they're gone.

Before his father passed away, high performance coach Brendon Burchard asked him 30 questions and recorded it.

We may have memories and moments with our parents that we cherish deeply, but there's a lot that goes unsaid, and a lot that we may wonder down the line.

Below are Brendon's 30 questions. Of course, you can conjure up your own questions, and pry when one of the answers intrigues you.

Here are the questions to ask your parents:

1. What comes to mind when you think about growing up in [hometown]? 

2. What did you love to do as a kid, before high school? 

3. What did you love to do in high school? 

4. What do remember most about your teenage years? 

5. What do you remember most about your mom and dad?

6. What was most important to each of them? 

7. If grandma and grandpa had a message to you and their grandchildren, what do you think it is? 

8. How did you meet [spouse] and know (s)he was the one?

9. How did you choose your career and what was your favorite part about it? 

10. What made you successful at work? 

11. What did you believe about yourself that helped you become successful and deal with hard times? 

12. What times in your life truly "tested your mettle," and what did you learn about yourself by dealing (or not dealing) with them? 

13. Which 3 events most shaped your life? 

14. What do you remember about when each of us was born?

15. Were you ever scared to be a parent? 

16. What 3 words represented your approach to parenting and why? 

17. When you think about [sibling] how would you describe him? 

18. What message do you have for [sibling] that you want him to always keep in mind? [Do the last two questions above for each sibling in your family] 

19. When you think about [spouse], how would you describe her/him? 

20. What message do you have for [spouse] that you want her/him to always keep in mind? 

21. Which 3 words best describe who you tried to be in life and how you want to be remembered? 

22. When they think about their careers, what do you want your children to focus on? 

23. What have you learned about other people in life? 

24. What do you think the world needs more of right now? 

25. What do you believe people want the most in life? 

26. What were the 3 best decisions you ever made? 

27. What are you most proud of in life? 

28. What were 5 of the most positive moments of your life? 

29. What message would you like to share with your family?

30. What are you most thankful for?

Brendon Burchard is a high performance coach and personal development trainer. He is one of the most influential leaders in personal growth and achievement. Brendon is a best-selling author, whose books include The Motivation Manifesto, The Charge, The Millionaire Messenger, and his newest, High Performance Habits.