Love is in the air, and everyone loves a love story. In the movie industry, that quirky moment when the two main love interests are introduced to one another is called a “meet cute.” They might be rather predictable in film, but real life often has more intrigue and romance. After all, when you meet a new couple, don’t you often ask, “How did you meet?” I find the same question one that helps us share the love stories of our loved ones who have passed away.
As I write this post, a Blizzard Watch is in effect for New York City, and a large section of the mid-Atlantic is bracing for a “potentially paralyzing” storm. This kind of weather makes me fantasize about heading someplace warm and drives me to think about travel in general. Ecotourism. Adventure travel. Volunteer tourism. Specialized travel allows us to build entire trips around particular needs and interests — caring for endangered animals, jumping out of airplanes, building schools in developing countries. Why not plan a vacation around honoring our connections to the past?
What do we call a trip that speaks to the desire to celebrate loved ones in the company of like-minded people? Let’s call it Commemorative Travel.
Nearly every culture has a unique way to remember and celebrate loved ones who have passed away. Below are my top five travel destinations where you can weave acts of remembrance into an already awesome and fun vacation.
This morning, my Facebook page filled with news that Alan Rickman, or as many of us will always remember him, Professor Snape, had passed away from cancer.
Of course, this is not the only beloved artist to die of cancer this week. Just a few days ago the world learned David Bowie succumbed to cancer as well.
These are the kind of stories that reverberate throughout social media. But they are also, sadly, nothing new. And surely these celebrity cancer deaths won’t be the last. Bowie and Rickman are just the latest casualties of cancer, one of the great enemies of humanity.
The clock struck midnight a week ago and just like that we got 365 new days full of promise. I’m a resolution person. I’m grateful for new beginnings. This year, I’ve decided to double down on my efforts to celebrate and honor loved ones intentionally. I’m on a mission. Join me!
Whether it was last year or decades ago that you lost someone close to your heart, make this the year to do something that is a purposeful act remembrance. On April 12, 2016 I’ll launch my book, Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive, which is full of eighty-five ideas to commemorate those we never want to forget. I call these strategies Forget Me Nots. I’ve shared a few in my previous blogs and on Facebook, which I’ll continue.
Gwyneth Paltrow has a lot to teach us about food and using it to keep the memory of loved ones alive, especially important I think around the holidays.
In her cookbook My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness, the Oscar-winning actress writes why cooking is so important to her: “I always feel closest to my father, who was the love of my life until his death in 2002, when I am in the kitchen,” she explains.
Maybe your shopping is finished. Chanukah, after all, is already in progress. If you’re searching for a few final things, I’d like to suggest two meaningful gift-giving ideas that will help keep the memory of your loved one alive. I’ll have more next week.
Make a Game of It
Given how much we can do with technology these days, it would be a shame to not harness its benefits for children. Personalize a deck of cards with photographs of living family members and those you’ve lost. By integrating all your loved ones, children are seamlessly taught to value every relationship in their lives.
As holiday decorations go up and lights twinkle in every direction I have something new and sparkly to share with you as well…two somethings, actually.
I’m thrilled to unveil my new website! It’s not radically different. In fact, I intentionally refreshed rather than tossed. My intent is for you to get a sense of renewal (New Year’s is almost here!) while still feeling cozy in familiar surroundings. Please take a few moments to wander around, get comfortable, and if you don’t mind the blatant request, share it with at least one friend.
My second bit of news is actually rather big — the announcement of my forthcoming book, Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive, coming Spring 2016.
In 2007 I had my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to prevent my getting ovarian cancer.
It was a surgery of the kind that Angelina Jolie recently underwent, as she revealed Tuesday in a New York Times op-ed. Two years ago, Jolie divulged that she’d had a prophylactic double mastectomy — I had done this as well, in 2012.
Along with the effects of the surgeries themselves, we now also share a related fallout: surgical menopause. Continue Reading