Loss has been on my mind lately. I've had the privilege of sitting in a memorial service for a family member. Canada lost one of its political leaders. And the U.S. observed the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Of course, I think about the stories. The stories people told. The stories that people didn't get to tell. The ones people wish they could forget. And the ones that are now lost, the stories unique to each of the individual souls no longer with us.

StoryCorps is working with family members of those who died on September 11 to record their stories. Unfortunately, it's too late to capture the stories from those killed -- how they would have described their lives, the things that were important to them. It's also too late for me to seek out my husband's cousin's memories of my husband as a young boy, of their fathers and mothers as they talked and laughed together.

Over the next few months, I'll have the opportunity to listen to many family stories. Some will be re-tellings of stories I have already heard or incidents I participated in. Some will be new to me.

And this time, when we have lost voices and remember those lost before, reminds me to listen -- really listen. No one can preserve every story, but listening shows respect for the story, the teller, and the subject. In some small way, listening helps keep that story alive.