Passed and Present

Passed and Present is the first “how-to” book for remembering loved ones, offering 85 inspiring and uplifting ways to celebrate the family and friends you never want to forget.

Creative and empowering, this much-needed, easy-to-use roadmap delivers a powerful and unexpected benefit: it can make you happier. The more we incorporate memories into our year-round lives — the more we can embrace the people who have passed, and all that’s good and fulfilling in our present.

Chapter topics include:

Repurpose With Purpose: Ideas for transforming objects and heirlooms. Discover ways to reimagine photographs, jewelry, clothing, letters, recipes — virtually any inherited item or memento.

Use Technology: Strategies for your daily, digital life. Opportunities for using computers, scanners, printers, apps, mobile devices, and websites.

Not Just Holidays: Tips for remembrance any time of year, day or night, whenever you feel that pull — be it a loved one’s birthday, an anniversary, or just a moment when a memory catches you by surprise.

Monthly Guide: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and other special times of year present unique challenges and opportunities. This chapter provides exciting ideas for making the most of them while keeping your loved one’s memory alive.

Places to Go: Destinations around the world where reflecting and honoring loved ones is a communal activity. This concept is called Commemorative Travel. Also included are suggestions for incorporating aspects of these foreign traditions into your practices near or at home.


We all want to keep memories of lost loved ones alive - but how? With tips on everything from transforming heirlooms to marking anniversaries, this lovely book can help.
People Magazine
Real Simple Magazine
Passed and Present is filled with ideas of ways to remember loved ones.
Today Show
In Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive, writer Allison Gilbert explores projects and plans for people to grieve, celebrate and share memories of friends and family who passed away.
Passed and Present isn’t a book about grief, it’s a celebration of our loved ones and of life itself. A must for everyone who has suffered loss, which is everybody.
Ann Hood, author of Fly Girl and Comfort: A Journey Through Grief
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. After my parents died, I could have really used Passed and Present. 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, author of Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief and The Rules of Inheritance
How we remember those we love is as important as what we remember. Allison Gilbert offers creative, resonant ways to keep relationships alive in a positive way with those we love who are no longer here.
Rosanne Cash, four-time Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter and daughter of Johnny Cash
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, author of The Four Tendencies and The Happiness Project
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. Most people don’t know I lost my father when I was young. I wear his ring all the time. Allison Gilbert’s Passed and Present is an important and timely book. Her 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’s Don Lemon Tonight
Perhaps no one who experiences a terrible loss needs to learn how to grieve. But perhaps everyone needs to learn how to create a memorial without creating an obsession. Allison Gilbert’s thoughtful book meets a need that most of us might not have even realized was there.
Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Good Son and The Deep End of the Ocean
Allison Gilbert’s Passed and Present poignantly urges us to recognize the importance of staying connected to loved ones who have died. Flying in the face of all the cliches out there about letting go, it wisely counsels us to remember mindfully and lovingly—and offers the tools to do so.
Meghan O’Rourke, author of The Invisible Kingdom and The Long Goodbye
Passed and Present encourages us to remember in a whole new way. Allison Gilbert’s sensible, no-nonsense approach provides so many fresh ideas that readers will find inspiration on every page.
Christina Baker Kline, author of The Exiles and Orphan Train
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