Co-authors of The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last Meryl and Stewart Ain, local clergy members, and representatives of Ben’s Lighthouse and The Caroline Previdi Foundation spoke during a Healing, Transformative Gathering hosted by Congregation Adath Israel on Sunday, May 4.
Several local clergy members offered prayers and words of healing during the event, and both Dr Ain and Mr Ain spoke about their work in creating The Living Memories Project.
While a small group attended the event, Rabbi Shaul Praver said holding the event was a significant step. Newtown, Rabbi Praver explained, endured something unimaginable in December 2012, and events like the one held on May 4 offer ways of turning the corner toward love.
Donations were accepted during the event and copies of The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last were given to those who made a minimum contribution of $36. Those who contributed a minimum of $50 received the book and a tote bag.
Some of the proceeds from the event, Rabbi Praver said, were shared with the discretionary funds of local clergy to help in the healing process, and donations also supported the foundations formed after 12/14 that were present for the event and participating family members of those lost on 12/14.
Near the end of the event, Mr Ain announced that the copies of The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last offered in exchange for donations during the May 4 event had been donated for the afternoon’s gathering, so all of the money raised by the event were divided and given to the different organizations and efforts.
Dr Ain explained, “Our book was born out of our losses.”
After losing their parents in a short timeframe, Dr Ain said the couple began to think about how to keep their loved ones in their lives. They decided, she said, to interview people about their own losses and how those loses were transformed. Some people, Dr Ain said, created memory quilts while others began scholarships.
Writing the book, said Dr Ain, was cathartic and therapeutic. She also said she was humbled to speak in Newtown with the group gathered for the event.
After reading an excerpt from the book, Dr Ain said she hopes people find healing and inspiration from it. Mr Ain also read a few stories from the book when he spoke before the group.
Ben’s Lighthouse is dedicated to long-term support and healing of children and youth in Newtown and surrounding towns. It was launched in the memory of Benjamin Wheeler, one of the victims of 12/14. More information about Ben’s Lighthouse is available at www.benslighthouse.org.
The Caroline Previdi Foundation was created in memory of Caroline Previdi, who was also killed on 12/14. The foundation provides support to children who lack the financial resources to be involved in extracurricular activities. More information about the foundation is available at www.carolineprevidifoundation.org.
More information about The Living Memories Project is available at www.thelivingmemoriesproject.com.