Three years after the death of her mother, Meryl Ain was still unable to fill the hole that the loss had left in her life. In talking to friends, Meryl discovered an insight shared by those who had successfully overcome grief; there simply is no closure. It was a breakthrough for her. She 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.”
Meryl enlisted the help of her brother, Arthur Fischman, and her husband, Stewart Ain, and began a quest to interview people who had moved beyond mourning through meaningful action. The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last by Meryl Ain, Ed.D., Arthur M. Fischman, & Stewart Ain (March 2014, Little Miami Publishing Company, Trade Paperback, 196 pages, $18.95, ISBN:978-0-9882553-7-1) is a result of that research.
The Living Memories Project presents more than 30 interviews with both celebrities and others who share their experiences and the projects they undertook to memorialize their loved ones. The authors have sought to demonstrate that any tribute, big or small, can be a meaningful way to preserve memories of loved ones. Establishing a foundation or scholarship, using a recipe on a particular holiday or family occasion, creating artwork, embarking on a project or even an entire career – all could be traced to a specific talent, interest or value of the deceased. Each chapter offers a rich first-person history that will engage and inspire readers of all faiths.
Among them are:
- 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.
- Singer/songwriter Jen Chapin (daughter of the late folk rock icon Harry Chapin), who carries on her father’s legacy of music and feeding the hungry.
- Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma (sister of Yo-Yo Ma), who keeps the memory of her father and music teacher /mentor alive through the Children’s Orchestra Society and her poetry.
- Robert Meeropol (son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed as spies by the US Government in 1953), who established the Rosenberg Fund for Children to help children whose parents are imprisoned.
- Author, actor and raconteur Malachy McCourt, who presents his unique take on how he keeps alive the memory of his brother Frank (Angela’s Ashes) through the Irish tradition of song and story.
Visit the website at www.thelivingmemoriesproject.com.