Tuesday, September 01, 2015

After This - Claire Bidwell Smith

I loved this book, a combination of memoir and stories about death that is perfect to me, and am tempted to recommend all my friends to read, although some will not be sure of the material.  Claire Bidwell Smith, is a young mother who works in grief counselling at a hospice and has written an earlier book about the death of her mother and father.  Scarred by their deaths, she finds herself worrying about what would happen to her daughters if she died young.

So she seeks to find out what happens after you die.  Do you just disappear, is there something after death, does your spirit go to heaven, to hell, is there anything?  We join her as she visits psychics, shamans, mediums, churches, Rabbis, yoga retreats, Bali and other places where she seeks out her answers.  As well as the loss of her parents, two of her young girlfriends die, and this loss is also devastating for her, stirring up new emotions and questions.

Spaced throughout the book are beautiful letters that the author writes for her daughters - to tell them about herself and the way she lives her life, and how proud she is of them, how much she loves them.  How lovely for the girls to know this, that if she were to die that they have these fragments of love to pick up and read and discover their mum. 4/5

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