Claire Bidwell Smith’s unique take on dealing with grief

You can learn more about Bidwell Smith, her writing and her work as a grief counselor at www.clairebidwellsmith.com.

Claire Bidwell Smith is more than the author behind the incredible new memoir,  “The Rules of Inheritance,” which chronicles a youth spent coping with the loss of both of  her parents to cancer by the time she was 25. She is also a therapist specializing in grief in Los Angeles. She talked to Metro about how one profession informed the other.

Do you find that writing helps with the grief process?

I think writing is an incredibly useful tool for moving through grief. It’s something I always encourage the people I counsel to do, whether it’s in the form of writing remembrances of a loved one or writing actual letters to the person they’ve lost. The act of writing is like opening a door in your head to all the things that you can sometimes be afraid to say or think. But the thing about grief is that it just doesn’t go away until you really sit with it, until you really let yourself experience it. Therefore, taking time to write about all the things you might be hesitant to let yourself feel is a great way to move through the emotions.

Why did you pick the title “The Rules of Inheritance”?

“The Rules of Inheritance” refers to a few things. The rules part refers to the five stages of grief I reference in the book, and to the way that no matter what, there are certain motions a person has to go through in order to move through grief. As for inheritance, I felt that I inherited so much from my parents. In some ways I simply inherited a lot of grief and sadness over their loss, but in other ways I inherited this wonderful legacy of the kind of people they were.

Did your training as a grief therapist help or hinder your creative process?

I think my training as a therapist absolutely helped with this book. On one hand, it helped me to understand myself and the process of grief on a much deeper level, one that really enabled me to write this book. On the other hand, I think that therapy and writing have a bit in common. As a therapist, I work to help people to understand the narrative of their lives, and often I help them to reshape it. In that regard, being a therapist was a really unique way to better understand all the ways that we tell our stories.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.