The Living Memories Project – Legacies That Last

The Living Memories Project

The Living Memories Project – Book Review

Every time I have lost someone I loved, it has felt like my whole world has stopped. Among other things, I have experienced shock, withdrawal, and deep grief as my body and mind have tried to process the news.

  • How can my loved one be gone?
  • How can I live in a world where my loved one no longer exists?
  • How will I survive without them?
  • How can I keep the memories and legacy of my loved one alive without continually grieving their loss?

There are no easy answers to these questions.

Each of us experiences loss differently. Each of us must come to grips with our loss in our own way and in our own time.

Each of us must find a way to say good-bye to our loved ones – to gracefully grieve our losses – to honor our loved one’s memories – and to return to the land of the living.

Thankfully, we do not have to mourn alone.

If you are looking for an invaluable resource to help guide you on your journey, I highly recommend The Living Memories Project – Legacies That Last by by Meryl Ain, Arthur M. Fischman, and Stewart Ain to you.

The Living Memories Project provides you with a rich treasury of ideas and creative projects that will inspire you to creatively remember those you love. In this book, the authors demonstrate that any tribute, big or small, can provide the living with a meaningful way to preserve the memories of their loved one.

For The Living Memories Project, Meryl and her co-authors interviewed more than 30 individuals – everyday folk and celebrities alike – to learn how they moved forward in the face of great personal loss.

The result?

Though The Living Memories Project. we are privileged to share in the rich life stories and heartfelt tributes of more than 30 people who are remembered through their loved one’s recipes, artwork, newly created foundations, scholarships, projects – and even new careers!

Here are a few of the extraordinary people you will meet inside of this book:

  • Linda Ruth Tosetti, who made a documentary film about her grandfather, Babe Ruth, to highlight his humanitarian side – a value she cherished and believed was often overlooked in Babe’s biography. Ruth was a German-American, who publicly denounced the Nazi persecution of the Jews in 1942.
  • Liz and Steve Alderman, who established the Peter C. Alderman Foundation to honor the memory of their 25-year-old son, who was killed on 9/11 at the World Trade Center. The foundation trains doctors and establishes mental health clinics on four continents to treat PTSD.
  • Eileen Belmont, a quilt designer who helps others preserve their memories of deceased loved ones through the creation of memory quilts.

Losing a loved one can be one of the most challenging experiences we will ever face – but it can also be a time of great transformation.

Just ask author Meryl Ain.

Three years after the death of her mother, Meryl was still unable to fill the hole that the loss had left in her life. Then, through conversations with her friends, Meryl discovered an insight shared by those who had successfully overcome grief:

There simply is no closure.

It was a breakthrough moment for her.

Meryl writes:

Our loved ones will always be with us if they are not forgotten. It is up to us to integrate them into our lives in a positive way that reflects their unique personality, values and spirituality. In that way we keep them alive in our hearts and minds always.

If you are ready to move beyond mourning and find a way to turn your loss into meaningful action, The Living Project – Legacies That Last is the book for you!

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

About The Authors

Meryl Ain

Meryl Ain

Meryl Ain holds a BA from Queens College, a MA from Columbia University Teachers College, and an Ed.D. from Hofstra University. She began her career in education as a social studies teacher before she became an administrator. She is also a freelance writer specializing in issues related to education, families, parenting, and children and has contributed to Huffington Post, Newsday, the New York Jewish Week and The New York Times.

Meryl embarked on The Living Memories Project after she lost both her father and mother within a year-and-a-half. She and her husband Stewart live on Long Island and have three sons, three daughters-in-law and three grandchildren.

Arthur M. Fischman

Arthur M Fischman

Arthur M. Fischman holds a BA from Queens College and a JD from Temple Law School. He is a freelance writer whose video and interactive scripts have won numerous awards, including a Telly, an ITVA Silver Award, and a New York Festivals Bronze World Medal.

Arthur co-wrote the award-winning documentary Digital Dharma and has written radio, TV, and print ads for leading consumer product manufacturers. He is also a veteran speechwriter and ghostwriter, and was director of executive communications and internal communications for a Fortune 500 company.

Arthur, his wife, and their two daughters live in Philadelphia, where he also writes plays and moonlights as a jazz pianist.

Stewart Ain

Stewart Ain

Stewart Ain is a graduate of CW Post College and holds a MA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is an award-winning journalist with more than 40 years of experience, and was a Pulitzer Prize nominee three times. He has reported for The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Jewish Week, Long Island Business News and Lifestyles Magazine. Stewart frequently appears on television and radio, and hosts his own weekly cable TV program, Jewish Life, and has been a regular guest on The Leon Charney Show. Both his parents died while he was working on The Living Memories Project.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Pump Up Your Book for review purposes. I was not compensated or required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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27 Responses to “The Living Memories Project – Legacies That Last”

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  1. Christine M. (Cool Mom)
    Twitter: StanleyNKatrina

    This sounds like a lovely book and at first I thought it was a bit of a journal to create your own living memory of someone – which might be a good healing project as you read this book? I like this: “Our loved ones will always be with us if they are not forgotten. It is up to us to integrate them into our lives in a positive way that reflects their unique personality, values and spirituality. In that way we keep them alive in our hearts and minds always.”

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      HI Christine,

      The book is actually filled with all sorts of amazing projects that people have done to pay tribute to their loved ones – very inspiring and very timely for me as I am still grieving the loss of my mom!

      (My mom passed away a few weeks after I requested this book for review… so very timely and a reminder of God’s great providence!)

      • Christine M. (Cool Mom)
        Twitter: StanleyNKatrina

        🙁 I did know you lost someone, I just did not know who. You have been on my prayer list. I’m so sorry for your loss. What divine intervention, the healing process is so tough and so individual for each person. It is lovely this book was placed in your life when it could help a bit. {{{Hugs}}}

  2. Gail Golden says:

    This sounds like a book I would enjoy, keep and share with others. Thank you for the review.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    So sorry for your loss. This book sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate the love you have for those who are gone. Thank you for posting!

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Thanks for stopping by Elizabeth – in the midst of grieving, it is wonderful to find a resource that helps us to find ways to positively celebrate the lives of the ones that we loved!

  4. Cathy says:

    This is a fantastic idea. We looked for ways to honor our son by doing things for other people. Grief is a long journey and the loss is at times unbearable. I will keep up with this. It is so needed.

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Cathy – but helping others is a wonderful way to honor his memory!

      Thanks for sharing your grief experience with us. It helps those of us on this journey to know we are not alone.

  5. LuAnn Braley
    Twitter: KentuckyGal

    I think I decided I wanted this book about the 2nd paragraph in. Sounds like a wonderful guide. When our mother passed, my brother offered to send a couple of portraits that had been done of both our parents (he’s not as much in to family history and genealogy as I am). They are treasured keepsakes. My condolences on the passing of your Mom. *hugs*

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Thank you so much LuAnn!
      What a wonderful keepsake your brother sent you! I know they mean so much to you! 🙂
      You will not be disappointed by this book!

  6. Michelle @ Divas With A Purpose
    Twitter: Divatude

    What a wonderful book! The grief process is so different for everyone – but the questions and thoughts are very similar. Now that I know about this book, it is one that I will definitely keep in mind and bless someone with that I know is grieving. You’re in my thoughts and prayers!

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Thank you so much Michelle! Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.

      The Living Memories Project is such an amazing book.
      I hope you have a chance to pick up a copy for yourself and to bless others with it as well! 🙂

  7. Sharon says:

    I did not know you lost someone dear to you. That is so devastating and sometimes takes years to heal, I know from experience,unfortunately. I am so glad that you wrote this today. I had a friend that just lost a two year old great grandson. So I think I may purchase this book for her. Maybe in some small way it may touch her. I will buy another for myself, it can never hurt to read something that can touch your heart so much. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Dear Sharon,

      I am so sorry for your loss and for the loss of your friend.
      How devastating it is to lose one so young.
      I hope that this book is a blessing to you both.
      Thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave such a thoughtful comment! 🙂

  8. Jen says:

    This sounds like a beautiful book to help work through grief. It’s good to hear about this topic being presented in a frank and human way. Thank you for your review.

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      You’re so welcome Jen! This is truly a wonderful book for anyone dealing with loss – particularly as it contains the stories and views of so many people.

  9. Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books
    Twitter: RecentBooks

    Thank you for the review of this book. It really sounds interesting.

  10. Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories
    Twitter: momsvictories

    What a fantastic idea. I love using creative outlets to deal with grief. Thanks for sharing with #SmallVictoriesSunday linky! Pinning to our linky board.

  11. What a wonderful book… it sounds great. I’m going to pin this :). Thanks for linking up at #smallvictoriessunday!

  12. Tina at Mommynificent
    Twitter: mommynificent

    This sounds like a really powerful book that will fill a gap in the lives of many walking through the valley of grief. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Looking forward to seeing you again this week!

  13. Thank you for the book recommendation! I will have to get this book so that my husband and I can read it. We lost my stepson at the end of April and the grief has been unbearable at times. Parents are just not supposed to outlive their children. Thank you so much.

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