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On Chosen Family

Last weekend one of my best friends got married, and I’m still welled up with joy-filled tears from the experience.

(See the whole album here.)

My in-laws are currently reading my book for the first time, and one of my mother-in-law’s comments after finishing it was that she felt glad that I have so many lovely friends in my life. I think sometimes people have a misperception about how many friends I tend to surround myself with, but the simple truth is that they are my family. The ten or so women that I consider myself incredibly close with are all the most incredible kind of women, and in some ways, all of them combined create a force not unlike the one my mother brought to my life. Their qualities of nurturance, passion, creativity and femininity all pulled together fill me up in a way that is almost indescribable.

My friend Liz (above) was the only friend of mine to attend my wedding. We shared a bed the night before I got married and falling asleep next to her that night was such a comforting experience. As another friend explained to his daughter this past weekend, we have families that we are born into and families that we choose.


  1. Friendships and girlfriends can bring such joy and closeness but often the relationships are so needlessly complicated (especially around weddings), so it’s lovely to read about friends who truly cherish one another. Beautiful post.

    Comment by Casey on January 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm

  2. :) ) Love you, Claire…!

    Comment by francesca on January 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm

  3. Just received the Feb issue of Oprah mag. Page 111- Ten titles to pick up now. I’m kinda partial to number five :-)

    Comment by Helene on January 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm

  4. OMG, I didn’t know it was out yet! Dying to see it! Will you email me what it says??

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on January 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

  5. Female relationships can be so complicated. You are so fortunate to have the wonderful friendships that form a family for you, Claire. BTW, hadn’t even looked at my copy of Oprah magazine that came in the mail yet. So thrilled for you! Fabulous little blurb in there about your book “gritty, poetic, and illuminating, could transform how you think about grief”. Even if I didn’t know you I would want to read your book!

    Comment by Wendy on January 18, 2012 at 7:54 am

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