"In Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief, Claire Bidwell Smith has found yet another way to powerfully illuminate and deepen our understanding of what it means to grieve. Drawing upon her personal experience with deep loss as well as her many years of working as a grief counselor, Bidwell Smith offers fresh insight into the connection between grief and anxiety. Bidwell Smith's profound compassion for those who've experienced loss has already helped so many people. This trailblazing book will help many more."Cheryl Strayed, New York Times bestselling author of Wild
"The world of grief--rote with repeated thoughts over what happened, what might have been, and what might be--provides the perfect breeding ground for anxiety. In pinpointing the connections between the two, Claire Bidwell Smith is the warm and wise friend guiding you toward deeper control over your thoughts, instead of your thoughts wielding control over you."Rebecca Soffer, coauthor of Modern Loss: Candid Conversation about Grief. Beginners Welcome.
"Once again Claire Bidwell Smith has brought light to one of life's most difficult and dark periods. She helps us understand grief better and ourselves in the process, all the while guiding us like an old friend who knows."Dr. BJ Miller, palliative care physician, UCSF
"Claire Bidwell Smith's Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief sheds light on a largely hidden dimension of what many grieving people experience: anxiety. Through her own personal experience of loss as well as expertise as a therapist and grief counselor, this book is written with compassion and insight. By naming the experience, she gives readers power. Bidwell Smith's book will be the missing link in understanding and eventual mastery for the many facing common feelings of uneasiness and fear following a loss."
Shoshana Ungerleider, MD Physician and Founder, End Well
"Smith doesn't offer platitudes about peace in the great beyond. What she does provide is far more powerful, and ultimately healing. We cannot bring the dead back, but we can honor their lives and recall their essence. It's not only a way to overcome anxiety connected to grief, but also a way to infuse our lives with deeper meaning, in the here and now."Spirituality & Health
"In Anxiety: the Missing Stage of Grief, Claire Bidwell Smith lifts up and sheds light on an aspect of grief that too often lurks just below the surface: anxiety. Throughout this warm and very accessible book, Bidwell Smith draws on the knowledge of numerous experts, shares the experiences of her clients, and offers simple yet powerful exercises for the reader to try. But the voice that will comfort, encourage, and and ultimately empower the reader is Bidwell Smith herself. This book is a balm to the souls of those who worry and grieve, and never quite understood the connection."
Kerry Egan, author of On Living
"[A] useful work...[The] insight alone, linking anxiety to grief, is worth the price of admission. If Smith's ideas of 'resilient grieving' help even one reader cope with the trauma and fearful thoughts of anxiety, she will have done a great service."Kirkus Reviews
"Claire gives practical advice that can soften the pain, readjust it, and let you move on."author Caroline Leavitt on her blog
"Diving into the complexities of grief and how it plays a huge role in dealing with anxiety, Smith brings in concrete facts and data to support her useful management tips in this new uplifting read. For anyone struggling to figure out their next steps in life, this is the perfect book to jump-start your happiness and gain control."Popsugar
"In the new book Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief by Claire Bidwell Smith, LCPC, you'll see how, when the walls close in, you can open a door...There's help inside this book-examples of other's struggles, exercises to open minds, and questions for insight-and those are things that can't be ignored if you're hurting. That's in addition to author Claire Bidwell Smith's calming tone, which is easy to understand and sensible, as well as comforting, in a we-can-fix-this way that will resonate with readers."The Bookworm Sez
"Smith helps readers understand the stories they carry within about losses in their lives, and how coming to terms with the depth and complexities of these stories can lead, over time, to healing."Energy Times
"[B]oth soothing and informative...Smith's words are particularly useful for panic attack sufferers...she shows you how you can normalize your panic."
New York Times Book Review
Fear and loathing and sickness unto death—it's enough to put a person into a fretful tailspin, the subject of this useful work of self-help.
Why do so many people fall apart? As psychologist and grief therapist Smith (After This: When Life Is Over, Where Do We Go?, 2015, etc.) notes, it's likely that underlying the anxiety that produces such effects there's unresolved grief—e.g., a loved one has passed away, but in our culture's insistence on moving on, we have not adequately acknowledged and processed the passing. The author recounts that the "predominant symptom" she sees in those experiencing grief is not anger but anxiety—and if we don't know how to deal with grief, we know even less about anxiety apart from throwing medications at it. Smith assures readers that "the anxiety you are experiencing is normal," welcome words given that those experiencing anxiety too often feel they are doing so in isolation and shame. The author notes that while the brain is processing the separation, regret, and other emotions accompanying loss, that loss is also tangible: "We are forced to rearrange our lives to accommodate for the absence of this person." In discussing that rearrangement and those emotions, Smith turns from the canonical work of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross to more recent practitioners, such as Thomas Attig, who analyzes the changes that accompany loss, including, inevitably, changes in one's own identity, a potential cause of grief all its own. Sometimes awkward, sometimes obvious, Smith's book is formulaic, one story, anecdote, clinical note, and exercise following on the other ("Let's check in with your level of anxiety"; "Now let's get you writing"), and there's a sameness to the proceedings that can dull the luster of that insight. Still, that insight alone, linking anxiety to grief, is worth the price of admission.
If Smith's ideas of "resilient grieving" help even one reader cope with the trauma and fearful thoughts of anxiety, she will have done a great service.