Honor in Every Season

Author: Allison Gilbert

Excerpt from “Passed and Present – Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive”

It is possible to look forward, to live a rich and joyful life, while keeping the memory of loved ones alive. 

There is no reason why remembering should be limited to a particular season or date on the calendar. Packing away your feelings until the “right” time of year honors neither your feelings nor your relationship. Celebrating your loved one can happen any time of year, whenever you feel the tug, for as long as it makes you happy. 

Every season offers a fresh chance to honor loved ones. 

Passed and Present book cover

Remembering Loved Ones

There are 85 creative ideas and strategies for remembering loved ones in Allison’s book. Here are just a few:

 Shine a Light on Collectibles

If your loved one was a collector, chances are you’re now the caretaker of dozens, if not hundreds, of trinkets you don’t have space to keep. One solution is giving them away. An equally compelling option is keeping a few pieces for display in a manner that fits your home and your needs.

 Display Postcards and Letters

There’s something deeply stirring about holding a piece of paper your loved one touched – all those loopy letters, dots, and dashes transport us back to a time when we perhaps felt the most connected, the most loved. 

 Generate a Digital Wave of Light

Create a hashtag on Twitter. For example, if your loved one’s name was Lynn, your hashtag could be #rememberinglynn.

Pick a time for your remembrance – a birthday, holiday, or special occasion – and let your inner circle know.

When the date arrives, encourage everyone to light a candle, take a picture of it, and post it to Twitter using the hashtag.

 Cook Together

There is no other dessert I associate more with my mother than her Fruit Platter Pie. And while serving it to my kids is always a treat for me, there’s nothing better than making it with them. I use the extra time together to reinforce stories about their grandma. Jake and Lexi never met my mom, so these stories create memories my children would never have on their own. 

Similar opportunities abound at Thanksgiving. Serving that special dish is great, but if you want to increase the chances of family and friends remembering why it’s important to you, include them in its creation.

 Go Christmas Shopping

Buy a new ornament in memory of your loved one. Hang it on your tree. 

“Passed and Present” is a simple, easy-to-use guide for discovering fun, creative, and inspiring ways to keep the memory of loved ones alive. It’s an upbeat and imaginative handbook that can be used at any time of year – whether it’s Christmas or a random Tuesday in June.

Allison Gilbert serves on the TAPS advisory board and the National Alliance or Grieving Children (NAGC) board of directors. She is an Emmy award-winning journalist and one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on grief and resilience. Learn more on Allison Gilbert's website.


How are you keeping memories alive?

We'd love to hear from you!  Send us a note at editor@taps.org and share how you are remembering the love and celebrating the life of your loved one.


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