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“...the only thing really worth doing in this life is giving love to everyone around you.” -Claire Bidwell Smith, author

April 4, 2018

In early 2012, when I bought Claire’s first memoir, The Rules of Inheritance, I devoured her sentences in one night. In addition to enjoying her gorgeous prose, I loved that she offered a panoramic, non-linear view of her grief—past, present, and future—all happening all at once, which is exactly how I experienced it. There were many times that I traveled in time in my own grief, such as when something triggered a memory. Like Claire, I would relive something in seemingly real time, yet with newer, wiser lens, and somehow, my older lens, too. This is how grief happens. And Claire perfectly portrays this.

 

Years later, I saw her article in The New York Times, “What the Psychic Showed Me,” introducing the premise of the book pictured. This book was written just for me, or so it felt like it. With both groundedness and openness, Claire bravely explores the different notions people hold for what happens after we die. I still return to it when I need to remind myself of the sense of peace I felt when I finished reading it.

 

Fast forward to this past year. Claire has become a dear mentor and creative coach to me, here in Los Angeles. She’s been guiding me through the often frustrating book-writing process—and has been able to offer just the right kind of encouragement and insights I need to help me believe I can do this. I am immensely grateful for her kindness and graciousness. And I hope someday, I can be as helpful and generous to other writers.

 

 

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