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Your Legacy of Love: Realize the Gift in Goodbye Paperback – September 20, 2009
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This heartfelt treasure should be in the hands of every parent, grandparent, husband or wife who wants to leave something more meaningful than money behind.” Donna L. Schuurman, EdD, FT, executive director, The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families
The message of this wonderful book is loud and clear. Don't wait! Make sure you leave your children of all ages the legacy of clear, loving communication from you.” Russell Friedman, co-author, The Grief Recovery Handbook
Clever, timely and important, this book will enrich the heart and home of everyone who has lost or loved.” Dr. Gloria Horsley Ph.D., national board member, Compassionate Friends
When it comes to celebrating life in the face of death, Gemini Adams is our muse. Her book inspires and instructs with such warmth and kindness that readers can't help but feel embraced.” Rev. Megory Anderson, author, Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life
This book is a must for anyone who wants to reduce the suffering for their surviving loved ones.” Roger Ford, president, Healing in America
This is a valuable resource for any caring person.” Dee Ann Ray, Clinton Daily News
About the Author
Legacy and Grief expert, Gemini Adams, studied with CRUSE Bereavement care, is a member of the National Federation of Spiritual Healers, a recipient of the prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship and a multiple award-winning author of several books. She helps families to prepare for and recover from loss through her Realize the Gift in Goodbye programs and is a contributing writer to OpentoHope.com. You can find her at www.realizethegift.com
Top customer reviews
This book makes you rethink life and death, your legacy and how you can ease the pain and trauma of your own passing for your family, friends and dependents.
Miss Adams outlines some inspiring ideas as to how this can be done; from writing letters to your children full of tips and useful life stories to help guide them through life, to leaving a little box of gifts and treasures for them to cherrish down the ages. This book creates a sense of urgency about making sure you prepare yourself and your family for the inevitable, in a society that has become largely illiterate in the face of death and which no longer possesses the sign posts to help guide people through bereavement. Most people come to fear death and the idea that they will be forgotten. 'Realise the gift in goodbye' will help ease those fears, make people realise what they have to give and even present them with the possiblity of memory longevity, allowing their memory and legacy to live on through their children and grandchildren. I also thought the ideas about how to mark your own passing and the planting of a tree, which surviving relatives could watch grow, as inspirational.
I was given this book in September 2009. A friend of mine urged me to read it. But she'd experienced the untimely death of a loved one and I hadn't, and I convinced myself that if I read the book, I would be tempting fate, it would be a kind of spiritual precursor to losing someone I loved. So I ignored it, out of fear, and it sat like a throbbing beacon on my shelf, demanding to be picked up. I viewed it suspiciously, as if it were a red-hot poker that would fry my fingers (and my heart) if I even touched it.
Then one of my best friends lost her father. He was only a few years older than my father, and I didn't know what to say to her. I found I couldn't bring myself to imagine what she was going through because it would mean facing the possibility that this could happen to me, and I didn't know what on earth I'd do if my own father passed suddenly. Realizing I couldn't even confront the idea of my father's death let alone my own death, I knew it was time to read the book.
As I started reading, I could still feel myself resisting it, filled with the urge to hold it at arm's length, not wanting to invest too heavily or emotionally in the experience. But the way this book is written, the way the author talks to us - not in fancy, intellectual language, but in plain, colloquial words that clearly come straight from the heart - eventually made me want to draw the book closer rather than push it away. Soon I couldn't resist diving in, head first, in order to be enveloped in the warm embrace the author, and her mother, were freely offering.
I thought this was going to be a book about dying, but it's not, it's a book about living, it shows us that unless we're prepared to man-up and face the fact that death is inevitable, we will continue to live in a state of paralysis, convinced we can always put off today what we could do tomorrow. I'm not talking about the easy stuff, the comfortable stuff, that we are more than willing to throw ourselves at, I'm talking about the stuff we don't want to do, the stuff we resist - like preparing for our own demise. Once we're prepared to face what's coming for us, we can truly live freely. The author encourages us to see life itself as a precious gift, no matter what we've experienced. Encouraging us to contemplate our life in the context of our death, she says, "As you look back on the events of your life, you might notice how even the tough times, when you struggled and suffered, weren't actually so bad. Somehow, these challenges helped you open another door, forcing you to grow, or they helped you to develop a deeper faith or gave you strength in an area where there previously was none."
From the moment we are born we are inching closer to our death, but we are obsessed with ignoring the fact. Reading this book made me see that living and dying are synonymous with each other, an interwoven journey that we can choose either to captain or to crew. The author asks us whether we will choose to "prepare for this journey as a pioneering leader who seeks success... or to remain a passive bystander, reacting to events as they unfold, allowing someone else to take the helm?"
Ultimately, the author shows us that ignoring the inevitable, i.e. not preparing for our own death, is essentially a selfish act, because who knows where we will be once we leave this earthly existence, or how much we will suffer. What is certain is that the people we leave behind, the people who love us, will suffer greatly. If we truly love our loved ones, surely we would want to lessen this suffering in any and all ways possible. Think about it; this is an opportunity available to all of us, and the only ones who will suffer if we ignore it are the people we love the most.
Beyond all its existential revelations, the book is also full of practical information. For instance, I always thought I wanted to be cremated and have my ashes scattered at sea. Now I know that a "green burial" is available. I can literally be "composted" in a biodegradable box. This fills me with great relief as I'm always trying to do my bit for the environment.
And hidden, humbly, within the pages of this important book, is the author's personal story; a story told without indulgence, from the heart, culminating in the tear-jerking balloon moment, which explains the image of rising balloons on the front cover. It is the most ordinary story in the world: a girl loses her mother at a fairly young age. What is extraordinary is that this girl chose to turn the experience into a timeless, selfless gift that could change the lives of countless millions of people for centuries to come.
I hope Andrea Adams can see, from wherever she is, what an incredible gift she gave the world when she gave birth to her daughter, Gemini.
The author's facebook page announces that she will be in New York for the BEA. I intend to find her and thank her, in person, for changing my life.