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
After a loved one dies, nearly all of us are confronted with the same uncertainty – what to do with their belongings, the shirts, pants, jewelry, papers, and all those important and insignificant odds and ends. 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
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. Allison’s 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, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon
Allison Gilbert is the author of Passed and Present and the critically acclaimed books Parentless Parents and Always Too Soon . She is also coeditor of Covering Catastrophe, the definitive historical record of how broadcast journalists covered 9/11. Allison’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, and on NPR, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, CBS, and ABC.
Filed Under: Passed and Present
Perhaps you wouldn’t expect me to feature New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin on my blog. After all, I focus on grief and resilience and Gretchen tackles all facets of habits and happiness. Gretchen’s written the groundbreaking books, The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, and she also hosts the popular podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Her forthcoming book, The Four Tendencies (about the personality framework she’s discovered) comes out September 12, 2017. Mark your calendars! But Gretchen is actually the best person to highlight this time of year!
Being proactive about remembering loved ones can make us happier. I call this positive and transformational concept the “Reflection Effect” and I write about it in O, the Oprah Magazine, and it’s at the heart of my book, Passed and Present, Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive. So, it’s with this in mind that I turned to Gretchen to find out how she’s derived joy and meaning from life after the loss of her beloved grandparents. As we spoke about resiliency and overcoming her personal losses, she also shared the importance of keeping a few cherished mementos and how certain smells (hot dogs!) spark comforting memories. Read More…
Filed Under: Passed and Present
I first became aware of New York Times bestselling author Ann Hood after reading her deeply stirring book, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, a memoir about losing her 5-year-old daughter Grace to a severe form of strep. My interest in her work only grew when I pored over her novel, The Knitting Circle, a work that cuts through many themes including “loss, hope, love, knitting, friendship, and the power of stories in our lives.”
Ann’s latest work, The Book That Matters Most, is a must-read. The story centers on a book club, but the novel is also about the accidental death of the protagonist’s sister and her mother’s suicide one year later. I could not put this book down.
Ann and I met at Spoken Interludes, a literary salon where celebrated and emerging writers read their work and answer questions from a large and enthusiastic audience. If you’ve never been to one of these events, I highly recommend carving out the time, if at all possible. Below, Ann and I talk about grief and resilience. We also discuss how music (the Beatles) and food (plain pasta with butter) have brought her unexpected joy.
Filed Under: Passed and Present
I’m thrilled to announce a new Q & A feature on my blog, a series of interviews with luminaries around the world. And I’m overjoyed to reveal my first conversation is with the incomparable Arianna Huffington!
The focus of every discussion will be grief and resilience. I’ve always been fascinated by the many ways loss can fuel enormous change and personal growth. My interest soared even more when I was named a contributor to the November issue of O, the Oprah Magazine and wrote an essay about the power of nostalgia to transform lives. If you’re curious about this topic, you can read about The Reflection Effect here.
Arianna and I met five years ago in the hair and make-up room at CNN. We were getting ready to appear on different shows and we briefly talked about my new book at the time, Parentless Parents: How the Loss of Our Mothers and Fathers Impacts the Way We Raise Our Children. My memory of that discussion is generally a blur. I mostly recall being in awe of her. Her work founding The Huffington Post had always inspired me, but it was her outsize warmth and generosity to everyone around her that afternoon, including me, that sparked my deepest admiration. And now, with the launch of her latest endeavor, Thrive Global, just a few weeks away, I am once again amazed by her singular kindness.
I’m so grateful that even with her new company’s November 30th start, Arianna took the time to reflect on the uplifting and empowering lessons revealed in my latest book, Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive. Indeed, there’s a connection between the lessons in Passed and Present and the mission of Thrive Global. Loss is part of life, but it’s how we choose to harness these setbacks that can reduce burnout, spark creativity and productivity, and improve our health at home and in the office. Growth and resilience are driven by these unexpected factors.
Here’s my full interview with Arianna Huffington.
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Allison Gilbert is the author of Passed and Present, and the critically acclaimed books Parentless Parents and Always Too Soon. She is also coeditor of Covering Catastrophe, the definitive historical record of how broadcast journalists covered 9/11. Allison’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, and on NPR, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, CBS, and ABC.