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Life, Death & The Space Between

Apr 7, 2022




“Grief and joy often walk hand in hand.” – Dr. Amy Robbins




Episode Summary:


We have all experienced loss. Therefore, we have all experienced grief, in one form or another.


In this episode, we talk with renowned grief expert Claire Bidwell Smith, a therapist and the author of three critically acclaimed books, already published in 19 countries:


  • The Rules of Inheritance
  • After This: When Life is Over Where Do We Go?
  • Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief


Claire strives to provide support for all kinds of people experiencing all kinds of grief.  Claire offers online programs for grief in addition to working with people one-on-one.


The Rules of Inheritance is currently optioned for television rights. In addition to having given dozens of talks on grief, Claire has written for The New York Times, Scientific American, The Washington Post, Goop, The Huffington Post,, Slate, Chicago Public Radio, The Guardian, Psychology Today, Yoga Journal, and BlackBook Magazine.


Her insights have been featured on MSNBC, Good Day LA,, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, NPR, Forbes, Conde Nast Traveler, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oprah Magazine, Self Magazine, Shape Magazine, and dozens of radio shows and podcasts.


People want to hear from Claire!


We grieve throughout our lifetimes, not for a person we have lost. Listen in to understand how grief impacts us all, and how unprocessed grief can actually show up as anxiety.




Topics We Discuss:

  • [4:00]  Claire’s experiences with the very early loss of both of her parents, and a series of secret conversations with a close college friend as she approached death. Asking herself, “What is the meaning of all this?” Seeing mediums, priests and rabbis, shamans, doing past life regressions, exploring alternative therapies…


  • [10:00] Grief in the context of the two COVID years.  How we grieve more than just the death of a loved one. COVID brought so much change. Grief is about loss, but loss is always about change. Since the COVID years brought about an unprecedented amount of change, we are all grieving.


  • [12:40]  The interconnection of anxiety and grief. Claire found anxiety as a missing element of the grief conversation. Unprocessed grief can manifest as anxiety.


  • [20:44] What people can expect as they move through grief. Sadness, fear, anger, overwhelm, guilt, regret, betrayal. We grieve in whatever way we live, and our grief will be different depending on the nature of the loss.  Processing grief: sitting with grief, opening up to the feelings that arise, retraining your brain, being in the present moment.


  • [27:33]  What sort of counselor to look for to process anxiety and grief.


  • [29:10] Claire’s upcoming grief and loss course for mental health professionals: coaches, therapists, teachers, counselors, nurses, doctors.


  • [34:18] After years of research, what Claire believes happens when we die.


  • [36:08] Claire answers Amy’s speed round questions:


    • Spirituality means…
    • What is something most people don’t know about you?
    • What are you looking forward to right now?
    • What is one thing you are deeply grateful for?
    • What book is on your nightstand?
    • What is your favorite spiritual or healing practice?
    • What is the most transformative experience of your life?






Find Claire’s books wherever books are sold. You can follow Claire, and find out more about her upcoming class for professionals on her website.






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