It seems like only yesterday that writer Claire Bidwell Smith and her husband, Greg Boose, who is also a writer, were among BlackBook‘s most prolific contributors, first covering dining and nightlife from their chilly home in Chicago, and later, doing that and more from the warmer climes of Los Angeles. All the while, though, Claire was working on a memoir entitled The Rules of Inheritance that was published last year. (Of course we covered it.) It’s a wonderful book that describes the agony she felt at losing both of her parents while she was still quite young, and the long process of finding herself in the years that followed. And of course it’s sad–my eyes welled up on the subway reading it more than once–but it’s also at times funny, fascinating, and uplifting. Apparently actor and producer Jennifer Lawrence liked it too, because she’s turning the book into a movie that’s she’s going to star in. As Claire. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence as Claire Bidwell Smith. That’s trippy just for me to wrap my head around, Claire must be like whoah.
But Claire totally deserves it, and not only because of the pain she went through early in life. The book stands on its own merits, and I don’t think you need to share her loss to be touched by it, and her ultimate triumph over it. But more than that, she’s used the lessons she’s learned to help others as a grief and loss counselor, guiding people through the darkest hours of their lives not only with kindness, but with a wisdom far beyond her years. More than just speaking with people who’ve lost loved ones, she’s raced to the bedsides of hospice patients when their loved ones couldn’t make it in time to offer them some kindess and love before they breathe their last. I consider myself both loving and tough, but I wonder if I’d have the strength to do what she does.
And so, a great book will be turned into what will no doubt be a great movie from an actor (and now producer) that everybody on the planet loves. People will watch the movie (hopefully they’ve already read the book) and be moved by it, and will probably be helped as well, if not with a loss they’ve suffered, then in preparing for a loss they’ll no doubt experience as life goes on. And it does. And it’s beautiful, and good, and sometimes it helps to be reminded of that.