This is a unique time in our world for people who are experiencing grief and loss on many different levels. As a therapist who has specialized in grief and anxiety for over a decade, I hope to use the knowledge and tools I have amassed to help others who are struggling. These weekly discussions are open to anyone who wants to join, and each week I'll be bringing on a special guest to help explore our collective grief and anxiety. We will offer coping tools and techniques and take live questions from participants. If you can't make it to the call you will receive a recording.
During this special Holding Space, Hope Edelman, the New York Times bestselling author of Motherless Daughters, will be discussing her new book "AfterGrief", a validating new approach to the long-term grieving process that explains why we feel “stuck,” why that’s normal, and how shifting our perception of grief can help us grow.
“This is perhaps one of the most important books about grief ever written. It finally dispels the myth that we are all supposed to get over the death of a loved one.”—Claire Bidwell Smith, author of Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief
Aren’t you over it yet? Anyone who has experienced a major loss in their past knows this question. We’ve spent years fielding versions of it, both explicit and implied, from family, colleagues, acquaintances, and friends. We recognize the subtle cues—the slight eyebrow lift, the soft, startled “Oh! That long ago?”—from those who wonder how an event so far in the past can still occupy so much precious mental and emotional real estate.
Because of the common but false assumption that grief should be time-limited, and too many of us believe we’re grieving “wrong” when sadness suddenly resurges sometimes months or even years after a loss. The AfterGrief explains that the death of a loved one isn’t something most of us get over, get past, put down, or move beyond. Grief is not an emotion to pass through on the way to “feeling better.” Instead, grief is in constant motion; it is tidal, easily and often reactivated by memories and sensory events, and is re-triggered as we experience life transitions, anniversaries, and other losses. Whether we want it to or not, grief gets folded into our developing identities, where it informs our thoughts, hopes, expectations, behaviors, and fears, and we inevitably carry it forward into everything that follows.
Drawing on her own encounters with the ripple effects of early loss, as well as on interviews with dozens of researchers, therapists, and regular people who’ve been bereaved, New York Times bestselling author Hope Edelman offers profound advice for reassessing loss and adjusting the stories we tell ourselves about its impact on our identities. With guidance for reframing a story of loss, finding equilibrium within it, and even experiencing renewed growth and purpose in its wake, she demonstrates that though grief is a lifelong process, it doesn’t have to be a lifelong struggle.
Claire Bidwell Smith is an internationally renowned author, speaker, and grief expert. She is the author of three books of nonfiction: The Rules of Inheritance, After This: When Life Is Over Where Do We Go? and Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief. Her books have been published in 18 countries and Claire lectures and writes regularly about grief.
Hope Edelman is the author of eight nonfiction books, including the bestsellers Motherless Daughters and Motherless Mothers, and the memoir The Possibility of Everything. Her original essays have appeared in many anthologies, including The Bitch in the House, Behind the Bedroom Door, and Goodbye to All That. Her work has received a New York Times notable book of the year designation and a Pushcart Prize for creative nonfiction. The recipient of the 2020 Community Educator Award from the Association for Death Education and Counseling, she is also certified as a Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, and facilitates Motherless Daughters retreats and workshops all over the world. She lives and works in Los Angeles and Iowa City.