Inside the Book:
Title: Putting Out the Fire: Nurturing Mind, Body & Spirit in the First Week of Loss and Beyond Author: Claire M. Schwartz
Release Date: May 1, 2015
Publisher: Helian Press Books
Genre: Self-Help/Grief and Bereavement
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.
The Three Basics of Self-Care After a Loss
In that moment of shock right after a loss, one of the first things to go out the window is taking care of ourselves. There are so many details that require attention and our decisions that we forget even the basics of survival.
After every single loss I have experienced (I think I am up to 40 now), there has been a period of varying degrees of numbness. Your brain feels like there is a layer of cotton around it and everything seems rather…fuzzy…. And even the most obvious tasks fall by the wayside in favor of making funeral arrangements, travel plans, financial management and notifications. All of this at the exact same moment as your heart is in shreds and your mind is a blur. But in the midst of all this, you have to figure out how to function. So here are some clear things you can do to take care of yourself.
Food & Fuel
Please please eat. You don’t have to sit down and scarf down half a cow and I would never recommend that. But do have snacks – yogurt, fruit, a sandwich – just to make sure you do not leave yourself without energy sources. Yes, you may need caffeine, or even a wee drink, to get you through, but don’t overdo it. Real food, vitamins and nutritional food will serve you much better. And don’t forget water – your body will really get upset with you if you do not hydrate.
Your ability to remember basic things will probably go completely sideways in the immediate aftermath of a loss, even if it was anticipated. I know in the days following my mother’s death, I handed the keys to my car to my boyfriend and a cousin of mine and I ordered them not to let me behind the wheel. I not only didn’t know where things were, but I had forgotten the mechanics of how to even drive a vehicle. And I also had a pretty strong urge to drive into the nearest tree…. So I didn’t drive my care for several days, even after the funeral.
You may forget what you were just saying, family members’ names, what you need to do next – appoint someone as your timekeeper and memory bank. Set alarms on your phone and then have them set another alarm. You may have a lot to plan in the initial days and you must stay organized – a task which is nearly impossible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Adrenaline and grief will only keep you going for so long before you crash. Again, it may feel impossible, but you must rest. Nighttime for me after Mom died was terribly tricky – nightmares kept me awake, so I tried sleeping during the day. That didn’t work, so I stayed attached to the TV for 17 hours at a time. But soon I was so exhausted that I was nearly hospitalized. We can go many days without food, but very little time, as little as 24 hours, without proper sleep. Even if it is a nap, do what you can. Give your psyche and your body a break.
Your heart may be broken, but your body and mind are the caregivers of your heart. I encourage you to give it the kindness and care it so urgently needs, so it can support you during this trying time. You will get through this – you are not alone.
Meet the Author: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.
You can visit her website at http://www.YouCanHealYourGrief.com