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Reframe the ritual


The Jewish ritual of sitting with mourners. Stories are offered as a comfort to the bereaved. 


A specially trained craftsman who writes words of great importance.


A person trained to preserve stories shared at a memorial gathering. 
When people gather to tell stories about your loved one,
all you want to do is listen.
ShivaScribe allows you to be fully present. 


Shiva is a nearly perfect practice, honed over thousands of years. It offers space for grieving, reflection, crying and laughter. Much of its power lies in the sharing of stories. All that is missing is somebody to collect them.

ShivaScribe lets you reframe the ritual, collecting stories to preserve, not only to better remember your loved ones, but to embrace the concept of "l'dor v'dor"—from generation to generation. 

If ShivaScribe existed when your ancestors passed, imagine the trove of information that would now reside with your family, passed down through generations. Imagine the depth of history you would hold. 

The Process

Contact ShivaScribe with the date, time and location of the memorial service. A trained mourners witness will attend the service (virtually, if necessary) and, with an empathetic ear and unobtrusive disposition, will discreetly record the stories that are shared. We can interview people at your request, at the memorial or at a subsequent gathering, eliciting details and depth for any story. Transcriptions are professionally edited and bound into a beautiful book that will become one of the most important gifts offered to someone experiencing a loss. 

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The Gift of ShivaScribe

A powerful way to support a grieving friend or loved one is by simply being present. Along with a warm presence, you can offer the gift of ShivaScribe to help mourners capture stories about their lost loved ones.


Group gifts are available.  

The Cost of Priceless

Our pricing is transparent. After an initial booking fee of $200, the hourly rate is $300 (two-hour minimum), which includes transcription and editing. Because most memorial services do not have a solid end time, please plan to cover the hourly fee of the service from beginning to end.

Memorial Service Only: $800.00

2 hour memorial service   

Package A: $1400.00

2 hours memorial service

2 hours shiva 

 Package  B:  $2000.00

2 hours memorial service

2 hours shiva 

2 hours follow up interviews

Upgrades and follow-up interviews to collect depth of details are available. (See options). 

All completed ShivaScribe work includes:

  • Simple, softcover book

  • Eulogies and poetry from memorial

  • Revisions per your feedback and guidance

  • Editing for clarity

  • Formatting for publication

  • On-call availability for discussion and consultation throughout the project

Options include:

  • Extra coverage

  • Extensive personal research and interviews

  • Photos added to book layout

  • Custom book cover design

  • Additional copies of books

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Who Are We ?

Laura Turbow has been a professional photographer for more than 25 years (although ShivaScribe does not involve photography). She is the founder of Still Life Stories, a business helping people create their legacies with stories inspired by their personal objects.  

I am obsessed with storytelling, whether through my camera or listening to someone tell me why their antique rolling pin holds so much importance. Over the course of my career I have learned that the only things that can "stop time"
and bring people back to certain moments are photos and stories. A few years ago, at the funeral of her mother, one of my close friends addressed the congregation. "I know many of you will come up to me today and tell me that you are sorry for my loss," she said, "but please just tell me stories about my mom."
 That was the moment when ShivaScribe
came to life. 

Jason Turbow is the best-selling author of three non-fiction books. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Wall St. Journal and Wired.

Laura had been workshopping her idea for ShivaScribe for several months by that point, but it wasn’t until I attended the funeral for my childhood cantor, the man who’d officiated my Bar Mitzvah, that I understood the potential significance of this work. The stories people told at his funeral were astounding; even his close family hadn’t heard some of them. When I began to consider the value in somebody saving these recollections, I saw all that ShivaScribe might become.


Contact Us

Before filling out this form, please secure an invitation for ShivaScribe attendance with both the religious leader/memorial host and the family of the bereaved. 

We are there for you.

Based in the Bay Area, serving people around the world, in person or via Zoom. Skype or Facetime.

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