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Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive Paperback – April 12, 2016
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"We all want to keep the memories of lost loved ones alivebut how? With tips on everything from transforming heirlooms to marking anniversaries, this lovely book can help."
Passed and Present isn't a book about grief, it's a celebration of our loved ones and of life itself. Allison Gilbert gives us Forget Me Nots practical, useful, necessary tips for survivors of loss to preserve our memories and live a joyful life. A must for everyone who has suffered loss, which is everybody."
Ann Hood, bestselling author of Comfort: A Journey Through Grief
"What a wonderful book! Passed and Present is an invaluable resource, a bona fide primer packed with all the ideas and habits we need for remembering loved ones. This is a book about loss, and also about celebration; about the past, the present, and a future that embraces happiness, the people we miss, and all they still mean to us.”
Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of Better Than Before, Happier at Home, and The Happiness Project
"Perhaps no one who experiences a terrible loss needs to learn how to grieve. But perhaps everyone needs to learn how to create a memorial without creating an obsession. Allison Gilbert’s thoughtful book meets a need that most of us might not have even realized was there.”
Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean
"Allison Gilbert understands not only the need for remembrance but also the profound power of shared stories and mementoes. In Passed and Present she offers a freshand most welcomeapproach to salving grief and staying connected after loss."
Dawn Raffel, bestselling author of The Secret Life of Objects
"We now recognize that grief is not about closure and moving on. In fact, keeping a healthy continuing bond with those we loved and lost is normal-- and helpful. Allison Gilbert's Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Our Loved Ones Alive offers a wonderful guide for sustaining that bond.”
Dr. Kenneth Doka, senior consultant at Hospice Foundation of America, and past president of the Association for Death Education and Counseling
After a loved one dies, nearly all of us are confronted with the same uncertaintywhat to do with their belongings, the shirts, pants, jewelry, papers, and all those important and insignificant odds and ends. After my parents died, I could have really used Passed and Present. In this simple and handy book, Allison Gilbert provides surprising opportunities for transforming would-be clutter into cherished keepsakes. This book will do for remembering what Marie Kondo has done for tidying up.”
Claire Bidwell Smith, bestselling author of After This and The Rules of Inheritance
Allison Gilbert's Passed and Present poignantly urges us to recognize the importance of staying connected to loved ones who have died. Flying in the face of all the cliches out there about letting go, it wisely counsels us to remember mindfully and lovinglyand offers the tools to do so.
Meghan O’Rourke, author of The Long Goodbye
There has never been a book like Passed and Present. Allison’s eloquent and inviting writing style provides readers with practical and meaningful suggestions for maintaining a continuing connection with loved ones. This is a book everyone, including those of us who work professionally with the bereaved, will read and recommend again and again.”
Fredda Wasserman, clinical director of adult programs and education, OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center
"In a world that urges us to 'move on,' or 'put this behind you,' the bereaved often struggle with a common challenge: how to remember the people they can't imagine living without. With a wide range of creative and compelling suggestions and activities, from food to music and beyond, there's something in Passed and Present for everyone.”
Donna Schuurman, senior director of advocacy & training, The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families
"How we remember those we love is as important as what we remember. Allison Gilbert offers creative, resonant ways to keep relationships alive in a positive way with those we love who are no longer here.”
Rosanne Cash, four-time Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter and daughter of Johnny Cash
"In Passed and Present, Allison Gilbert has given us a remarkable gift. By recognizing a newfound thirst for looking back, she leads us step by step in ways to honor our loved ones and rejoice in our ancestors. This book is necessary and simply wonderful!”
Benilde Little, bestselling author of Welcome to My Breakdown, Good Hair, and Who Does She Think She Is?
"I’ve been lucky to trace my roots with DNA testing. My ancestors are from Nigeria, Cameroon, and the Congo. I didn’t know these details until recently, and the discovery has driven me to appreciate those I love and those I’ve lost even more. Most people don’t know I lost my father when I was young. I wear his ring all the time. Allison Gilbert’s Passed and Present is an important and timely book. Her creative ideas for remembering arrive at just the right moment in history, guiding millions of us who are yearning to recognize and pay tribute to our past.”
Don Lemon, anchor of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon
Passed and Present encourages us to remember in a whole new way. Allison Gilbert’s sensible, no-nonsense approach provides so many fresh ideas that readers will find inspiration on every page.”
Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
I was thirteen years old when my dad died. As his firstborn, I inherited all of his belongings but was clueless how to preserve them. I admit to dumping nearly everything in boxes. Thirty years later, Passed and Present has given me reason to open them and begin anew. Gilbert’s book is so innovative that it blew my mind. It’s more than just making mundane scrapbooks; her novel ideas include using digital technology to bring loved ones into our high tech world. My son will now have a crystal clear image of the grandpa he never knew. Passed and Present is a treasure.”
Cheryl Wills, anchor, NY 1 News, author of Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale and The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills
Praise for Allison Gilbert's Always Too Soon
"Each story here eloquently captures the heart of loss. The lessons, forged in sorrow and eventual acceptance, are invaluable and intensely real." Senator John Kerry
"Take this book and treat it like a friend . . . You will undoubtedly continue to find comfort in the lives, courage, and determination of the people you meet in this book long after you put it down." Lois F. Akner, author of How to Survive the Loss of a Parent
"Readers . . . will find hope and comfort in these moving stories." J. William Worden, author of Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy
About the Author
Gilbert has been featured many times on CNN, FOX, MSNBC, ABC, and NPR, and her writing on family and parenting, grief and loss, cancer prevention, and genetic testing appears in numerous publications and websites including CNN.com, the New York Times, The Daily Beast, and Huffington Post. An Emmy award-winning journalist, Gilbert started her career in television news, her work honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Associated Press, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She lives outside New York City with her husband and two children. Learn more about Allison at allisongilbert.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some are crafty, some are places to visit that honor loved ones, some are ways to bring someone into current times w/digital archiving and social media.
I dog-eared almost every page!
I come to this book from two directions: as a traditions expert who has researched and written books on the topic for many years ("The Book of New Family Traditions" is my latest) and as a widowed orphan (both my parents are deceased, and my husband died less than a year ago). From both those perspectives, I can tell you that this little book is a winner and a lifeline. The book is crammed with fresh ideas, like using the voice of your loved one as a ringtone, doing a random act of kindness and leaving a note that it was done in someone's memory, and planning a special trip where you retrace their steps to favorite places, local or far-flung. Who would have thought you could take a person's signature or their handwritten "love you" sign-off on letters, and turn it into a piece of jewelry?
I've invented memorial rituals of my own, and I am making quilts out of my husband's shirts and ties, one of the things Allison Gilbert suggests. Shortly after he died, I had a reception at home and hired a musician to play my husband's 10 favorite songs: the author suggests creating a playlist of your loved one's personal picks. For my husband's birthday, we'll do everything from scattering some of his ashes in the backyard to eating his favorite foods and watching his favorite movie. But Allison has also inspired me with ideas and resources that were totally new to me. Thank you, Allison Gilbert!
This book is a great gift too: if you know someone who has lost a parent recently, this book would be perfect for a Mother's Day or Father's Day gift.
Dad started talking about my 14 month old son, Grayson, who was killed in a car accident in 2010. Dad said they would be hanging out and doing all sorts of things together on the other side...watching over all of us, teaching Grayson how to fish, going to Jimmy Buffett concerts, and sending us Angel Pennies (although Dad said he would send us dimes).
I think Dad was comforted by how he saw I celebrated Grayson. Our family has participated in The Compassionate Friends annual The Worldwide Candle Lighting event every year since we lost him. Dad knew that we wouldn't just remember him on his birthday...our celebrations would be year round.
My family knows my symbol for Grayson is the dragonfly. This summer my dad was at Home Depot, and he found two dragonfly garden ornaments. He brought them home and put his name on one and Grayson's on the other. Those dragonflies are in my mom's house with my dad's unique handwriting. It's our way of celebrating them together.