I am so thrilled to announce my first book, WHAT MATTERS MOST: The Get Your Shit Together Guide to Wills, Money, Insurance and Life’s “What-If’s” is here! It is the book I wanted to write, is full of stories, expanded checklists, interview, and advice – and is available now: Amazon, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound and your local, independent bookstore.
video credit to filmmaking badass Katherine at KatFilms
“How strange to have been so conscious about money in life but lax about where it all goes when I die. That stopped the day I read Chanel’s book. How free I feel to have these tasks done.” (Vicki Robin, New York Times bestselling author of Your Money or Your Life)
“Chanel Reynolds took her own unthinkable tragedy and turned it into a rallying cry for us all to get our sh*t together before it’s too late. In What Matters Most, she is your funny, irreverent friend, who’s here to show you tough love. The time for death denial and keeping your head in the sand is over.” (Caitlin Doughty, New York Times bestselling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes)
“Grief is a monster better confronted without a legal, financial and logistical mess left behind; Chanel’s wisdom is a gift to all future dead people wanting to lift some of the burden of loss off their surviving loved ones. What Matters Most offers you the chance to consider, and find, those critical answers.” (Rebecca Soffer, coauthor of Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome)
“Reynolds provides not only sound counseling but a straightforward plan for when the unthinkable occurs.” (Library Journal)
“If anything will make you finally write a will, get life insurance, make a folder with all your passwords, or write letters to your loved ones, this remarkable book is it.” (CrossCut, Seattle)
“Reynolds’ story, told from the trenches of life, is powerful and wise. Her message–sort out your finances and get your end-of-life wishes in order before it’s too late–offers readers a generous opportunity to learn from her experiences and be more fully prepared.” (Shelf Awareness)
My Note to the Reader (book excerpt)
I never wanted to have to write this book. And yet, even though I find myself here completely by accident—here we are. So, friend, a couple of quick things.
No, I am not a lawyer, financial planner, or insurance agent. Other than this book, I’m not here to sell you anything, just to tell you whatI learned over the last nine years.
Yes, it’s a little embarrassing to share my lowest moments after one of my biggest fears came true, the mistakes I made, and how wrong I got it. However, if it really is the truth that sets us free, here is every inch of it. My hope is that this path becomes a little easier for you if (or when) you nd yourself (or someone you love) walking down this road. Besides, if it weren’t all too true, you can bet I would have made myself look much, much better. Struggle isn’t pretty, so we might as well just get honest about it.
And being honest is exactly what getting your shit together means in this book. Serious topics require real-life words and talking like humans. I don’t have my shit together were the actual words I said standing ve feet away from my husband, who wasn’t waking up from a coma. Giving all or none of the fucks or swearing up a mar- keting trend was never the point. I was entirely terri ed. That’s all.
In fact, because my memory was, let’s be clear, not exactly reliable on occasion, I triple-checked facts, toured the hospital, and inter-viewed dozens of people who were with me in order to describe as accurately and honestly as I can what really happened. But the only story I’m telling is my own, as I experienced and remember it. Excavating and mapping friends’ memories and asking what the kids re-member revealed that we were often in the same room but completely in our own heads, our brains interpreting wildly different meanings, feeling entirely opposite emotions.
However, what we all remember is, everything really sucked after José died. For a long time. But even during the moments when I felt like I might die, too, I knew that I wanted to live, be happy again, and come out the other end alive and whole. There is hard stuff in here, but you can absolutely get your shit together. You can do this. We all can.
We don’t drown by falling into the water. We drown by staying there.