Grief Therapist/Author Claire Bidwell Smith and Death Doula Marggie Hatala Are Featured Guests

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), through its Remembering A Life consumer education initiative, has released two Remembering A Life podcast episodes for May: Anxiety – The Missing Stage of Grief: A Conversation with Claire Bidwell Smith and Death Doulas – Supporting Families During a Loved One’s Final Days.  

Anxiety – The Missing Stage of Grief: A Conversation with Claire Bidwell Smith 

After losing both of her parents at a young age, grief expert Claire Bidwell Smith was drawn to helping others navigate their grief. A therapist in private practice for more than a decade, she has counseled thousands of people and written three books. In this episode, Bidwell Smith reflects on the role anxiety has played in her grief journey and how we can identify and manage our own anxiety after a loss.

Bidwell Smith is the author of Anxiety – The Missing Stage of Grief, the Remembering A Life Book Club non-fiction book of the month for May. In this engaging read, Bidwell Smith invites the reader into her world, which was forever changed following the deaths of both parents while Bidwell Smith was a young adult. She shares her own powerful experiences with anxiety, from experiencing her first anxiety-related panic attack to identifying the strategies that helped her manage her anxiety and arrive in a place of mindfulness and peace. The full review can be read at RememberingALife.com/bookclub. Podcast listeners can learn how to win a free copy of the book when they listen to the podcast episode.

Death Doulas: Supporting Families During A Loved One’s Final Days 

When we hear the term “doula,” we probably most often think of a birth doula – someone who helps bring new life into the world. However, increasingly, doulas are also helping people through their final days. Remembering A Life podcast guest Marggie Hatala is one of approximately 400 certified end-of-life doulas in the United States. Hatala has been an end-of-life doula for six years, providing families with in-home end-of-life support prior to and throughout the dying experience. In this episode, Hatala explains the role of a death doula in guiding family members and friends through what can be an emotional and difficult, but often beautiful, experience.

Remembering A Life podcast episodes are available at RememberingALife.com/Podcast, wherever you listen to podcasts and on the Remembering A Life YouTube channel.

About Claire Bidwell Smith 

Claire Bidwell Smith is a renowned grief expert and author. After losing both of her parents at a young age, Bidwell Smith was drawn to helping others navigate the grief process. A therapist in private practice for more than a decade, she has counseled thousands of people, and written three books about grief and loss. Bidwell Smith speaks and lectures widely and runs a series of different programs designed to help others move through loss.

Bidwell Smith is passionate about advocating for advancement in end-of-life care and also bringing awareness to our culture’s understanding of grief. She serves on the board of End Well Project, an end-of-life initiative that holds a yearly conference, and also Near, an organization devoted to helping people find end of life and grief support. Bidwell Smith also hosts a popular virtual series for the Let’s Reimagine Death organization, in which she interviews notable figures in the death and grief space.

Bidwell Smith’s three books of nonfiction The Rules of Inheritance (Penguin, 2012), After This: When Life Is Over Where Do We Go? (Penguin, 2015), and Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief (Da Capo, 2018) have been published in 18 countries, and received many accolades and critical praise. The Rules of Inheritance is currently optioned for television rights.

Bidwell Smith has written for The New York Times, Scientific American, The Washington Post, Goop, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, Slate, Chicago Public Radio, The Guardian, Psychology Today, Yoga Journal, and BlackBook Magazine. Her thoughts, insights and interviews have been featured on MSNBC, Good Day LA, Today.com, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, NPR, Forbes, Conde Nast Traveler, The San Francisco Chronicle, TheMinneapolis Star Tribune, Oprah Magazine, Self Magazine, Shape Magazine, and dozens of radio shows and podcasts.

About Marggie Hatala 

Marggie Hatala BSN, RN, CEOLD, a Certified Elder Care and End of Life Doula, combines these services in combination with her experience as an RN to offer holistic, non-medical support as a Life Doula. In this way, Hatala walks with her clients through the challenges of chronic illness, aging and decline and through their final days. Her deep spiritual presence, extensive knowledge and experience, and peaceful assurance allows them to feel the depth of her support. Additionally, Hatala seamlessly includes this support with her role as a Nurse Advocate with Ikor Life Care Management for clients that benefit from the inclusion of medical advocacy.

 About Remembering A Life 

Remembering A Life (RememberingALife.com) provides educational tools to help families understand the value of a funeral, plan a meaningful service and begin the grief journey following the death of a loved one. Resources include the Remembering A Life website (RememberingALife.com), a podcast, book club, blog, conversation cards and thoughtful gifts for grieving family members and friends. Remembering A Life is a consumer education initiative of the National Funeral Directors Association. Follow Remembering A Life on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About the Remembering A Life Book Club 

Perfect for book lovers of all ages, the Remembering A Life Book Club (RememberingALife/bookclub) features resources for readers who would like to learn more about remembering a life and the grief journey by reading classic and/or modern literature. Recommended reading, a book of the month, book reviews and discussion prompts help guide readers, whether they hold an in-person or virtual book club, or simply want to personally reflect on what they’ve read.


About NFDA 

NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving more than 20,000 individual members who represent nearly 11,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.nfda.org.