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After the loss of two loved ones this past year, I found my way to Gemini Adams' book, Your Legacy of Love, which was a healing balm to my grieving soul. Adams connects immediately with the reader by sharing her heart-honest story of the loss of her mother. She knows of what she speaks -- she's been to the depths of sorrow, and understands the unique pain we're experiencing. But not only does she show us how to deal with that grief, she takes a wonderful step further by showing us practical steps we can take -- right now -- to ease the pain of our own loved ones down the road. What a true gift that most never consider. Highly recommended. 

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I was given this book in September 2009. As I started reading, I could still feel myself resisting it, filled with the urge to hold it at arm’s length, not wanting to invest too heavily or emotionally in the experience. But the way this book is written, the way the author talks to us – not in fancy, intellectual language, but in plain, colloquial words that clearly come straight from the heart – eventually made me want to draw the book closer rather than push it away. Soon I couldn’t resist diving in, headfirst, in order to be enveloped in the warm embrace the author, and her mother, were freely offering.
I thought this was going to be a book about dying, but it’s not, it’s a book about living, it shows us that unless we’re prepared to man-up and face the fact that death is inevitable, we will continue to live in a state of paralysis, convinced we can always put off today what we could do tomorrow. I’m not talking about the easy stuff, the comfortable stuff, that we are more than willing to throw ourselves at, I’m talking about the stuff we don’t want to do, the stuff we resist – like preparing for our own demise. Once we’re prepared to face what’s coming for us, we can truly live freely. The author encourages us to see life itself as a precious gift, no matter what we’ve experienced. Encouraging us to contemplate our life in the context of our death, she says, “As you look back on the events of your life, you might notice how even the tough times, when you struggled and suffered, weren’t actually so bad. Somehow, these challenges helped you open another door, forcing you to grow, or they helped you to develop a deeper faith or gave you strength in an area where there previously was none.”
Reading this book made me see that living and dying are synonymous with each other, an interwoven journey that we can choose either to captain or to crew. The author asks us whether we will choose to “prepare for this journey as a pioneering leader who seeks success… or to remain a passive bystander, reacting to events as they unfold, allowing someone else to take the helm?”
Beyond all its existential revelations, the book is also full of practical information. For instance, I always thought I wanted to be cremated and have my ashes scattered at sea. Now I know that a “green burial” is available. I can literally be “composted” in a biodegradable box. This fills me with great relief as I’m always trying to do my bit for the environment.
And hidden, humbly, within the pages of this important book, is the author’s personal story; a story told without indulgence, from the heart, culminating in the tear-jerking balloon moment, which explains the image of rising balloons on the front cover. It is the most ordinary story in the world: a girl loses her mother at a fairly young age. What is extraordinary is that this girl chose to turn the experience into a timeless, selfless gift that could change the lives of countless millions of people for centuries to come.
I hope Andrea Adams can see, from wherever she is, what an incredible gift she gave the world when she gave birth to her daughter, Gemini.
 

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This is a gift that lasts a lifetime and beyond! I suggest to anyone of any age- male or female, parent or grandparent, single or not- that this book is a warm, necessary must read. "Your Legacy of Love: Realize the Gift in Goodbye" opens a brilliant conversation about living fully, while taking care to arrange all aspects of having the happiest life possible without leaving any wake of the unknown or unsettled to your loved ones.
I've been talking with my immediate, as well as distant, family members about recording our family history since I can remember. One of my favorite parts of family gatherings growing up was hearing the stories- whether "long" or short tales of adventures, how my parents & other family couples met, notes about a famous relative, every day life lessons, wild romances or anything in between. I was hooked and compelled to know how I related to these people. I wanted to be a part of them, as I deeply felt they were a part of me. I mostly wanted to remember these stories, which I always asked my family to repeat, as I would forget the correct version of tales after I left, or incorrectly blend the tales.
Since then, I have experienced the loss of loved ones in many ways- both sets of grand parents, my uncle on my dad's side, cousins, friends from school with accidents and even suicide, and others along the way in life having met their time or having left us too early.
Having just turned 40 this year, still unmarried and without children, but wanting all that life has to offer, the importance of these family memories has grown exponentially for me during 2010. When I was copied on an email from a relative imploring the cousins of her era to please start writing any memories they could recall, regardless of writing skill, I was delighted to be in on the email exchange. I added my two cents to urge anyone in our family- of any age- to please start writing their memories. I put myself directly in the stream to encourage these notes, for the purpose my cousin had written- let's publish a family book "for the young ones"... but for me finally too!
When I came across "Your Legacy of Love: Realize the Gift in Goodbye", on referral from a friend and having recently been trying to console another friend about a suicide loss, I was stricken to my core with the story at the outset. My parents are my best friends. Despite their divorce during my college years, the concept of being without either of them from my 20's onward is inconceivable for me. I was torn over Gemini's description of her loss, especially the lack of feeling that it was ok to grieve loudly. I don't spend much time groveling in negative situations, but when we're talking about loss, I've always felt it was extremely healthy- for a period of time- to feel that loss fully, to communicate with everyone about it, and let it move through you.
I'd felt a lot around the loss of my grand parents especially. I had these little girl dreams of everyone attending my future wedding, and when they passed I grieved in ways about that fact that would never happen. It was the first familial emotional loss and I can still describe details surrounding each grand parent's passing to this day. Each one I cherished in ways that were unique, fulfilling and so very "me." To no longer have them, and just try to dig up memories of them became hard. I wanted more- I wanted to live as them, be like them, know how they succeeded in their lives and I wanted their wisdom for the many things to come I had no idea about asking questions about while they were here in my youth.
I quickly shared the link for the "Legacy of Love" book with my family who'd been copied on our family history email thread. A few family members responded immediately asking about the "leaving your legacy" topic. It launched an initial conversation in my family about what it means to have a legacy, as well as some great chatter about the history of
 

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