Friday, August 26, 2016

Putting Out the Fire: Nurturing Mind, Body & Spirit in the First Week of Loss and Beyond

  • Paperback: 84 pages
  • Publisher: Helian Press Books (May 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0996309926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996309929
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.

The phone rings - your breath falls away - and each moment becomes a lifetime. The death of someone significant in your world can rewrite the scope and breadth of who you are. But in this exact moment of decisions, questions, family stress, and legalities, what do you do first and how do you cope? When author Claire M. Schwartz lost her mother suddenly when she was 24, she experienced this exact thought process. But with all the misinformation out there about Grief & Loss, and without tools that actually made her feel better, she fell apart. After 20+ years on her healing journey, and over two dozen more losses, she brings you the Truths that no one will tell you and the Tools to truly bring you support and clarity in the initial hours and days following a death. In this slim and personal book, you will learn: - How to practice Self-Care during this intense emotional time - The Ten Tall Tales of Grief & Loss ™ - the things we get told that may be well-meaning, but can be so hurtful and destructive - how to respond and plus compassionate ideas that will better support you - Who to trust and who to avoid, in the near-term and the long-term - How to manage funeral arrangements, the legal bits and all those details that can make you nuts, but must be done - Ways to celebrate your loved one, as well as what to do when the deceased was not so loved..... - What to focus on after the first week, and what to expect in the longer term We all experience loss in life - but what is very difficult to find is truthful advice that makes sense, and practical tools that anyone can use. This book tackles both, with compassion and clear practicality, with heart and with wisdom. There is no other book out there that focuses solely on this first, most-intense and exhausting period. It will support you when you need it most and get your healing journey started on the right foot.

 My Impressions

As a social worker I love getting the opportunity to review books that I can use to help other with. When I saw this book by Claire Schwartz, I knew I could not pass it up. Working with hospice patients I deal with patients, families and loved one's that are dealing with accepting loss both before and after death. Even though this was a short book, it was filled with great advice and information that was practical and insightful. No one wants to read a 300 page book on this topic. They want something short, to the point and helpful. 

No one really teaches anyone to deal with loss, until you are in the midst of it. By that point you want something real, insightful and practical as you navigate through one of the toughest parts of life. Ms. Schwartz understands this.   Covering topics such as self care, taking care of legal and business needs to the different behaviors you might see from others. I really appreciated the time the author spent on making sure that each individual knows that their emotions and feels are valid. It is ok to be angry, sad, fearful, etc. There is no "right" emotion to feel when you are grieving, what is important is that you are tru to yourself and that you can grow from and understand your feelings. 

This book was written in an easy to follow format that would be a excellent resource for both families experiencing grief and those who are trying to help them walk through that grief. 


Claire M. Schwartz is from the Detroit suburbs and comes from a place she calls The Dark Ugly™. She lived in a lovely town, went to a private school for gifted kids, and had cultured and educated parents. Yet Grief & Loss have followed her as long as she can remember - trauma, violence, & neglect - loss of safety and security, loss of confidence, loss of grandparents, friends and animal companions, loss of health, opportunity and sense of place in the world. The pivot point of her life was the sudden death of her mother in 1995, which changed her world forever. Yet recovery was painstakingly slow, wrapped up in misinformation, confusion and more pain. After years of therapy, failures and mistakes, her life's goal has been to find the answers that made no sense when her healing journey began. Now more than 20 years and 30+ losses on, she is bringing all that she has learned into one slim and powerful volume, in the hope that you suffer less than she did on her healing quest.

Claire holds a BA in psychology from the University of Michigan, is a Spiritual Counselor, Reiki Master Teacher, Certified Professional Coach and Interfaith Minister. She is happily married in New Jersey, surrounded by cats, great food and the best of friends.


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