The grief that accompanies the loss of a loved one is crippling. In Feeling Left Behind, author Kim Murdock relates and empathizes with that pain because she’s been there. She knows what it feels like to be woefully blindsided by music or at the grocery store, to reconsider the future alone, and to connect with a person who is no longer alive. You will relate to her chapters as she describes:
● The crushing desire to freeze time and isolate yourself
● The unstable phase of “firsts”― first holidays, birthdays, anniversaries
● The anger and sadness at seeing other couples
● The loss of self, empathy, security, and tolerance
● The heartbreaking sadness of getting rid of their belongings
● And so much more
This is not a step-by-step guide on how to grieve. Kim outlines every detail of her experience as well as the experiences of her widow/widower friends to show you that you are not alone. You are normal. And you deserve as much time as possible to figure out how to survive in your own way.
Kim Murdock is a writer and editor who has made it her mission to help those dealing with the loss of a loved one, particularly a spouse. After becoming a widow at 42, she didn't want people to tell her how to heal or that everything happens for a reason. She just wanted to know that her feelings were normal. She spent almost three years working with a grief counselor and joined a young widows group, becoming good friends with many widows/widowers. Having these outlets to share her feelings and know she wasn't alone was really the only thing that helped her.
In gratitude to the widows and widowers who helped her, she decided to pay it forward and support others suffering a loss. In her award-winning book, Feeling Left Behind, she shares her experiences and feelings to help others know they aren't alone and that their feelings are normal. In a candid and heartfelt way, she expresses what many–maybe even most–grieving people feel and experience.
I have many wonderful Christmas memories. In fact, unlike many people, I don’t find Christmas chaotic or stressful. The first Christmases after my husband died were painful and sad. But most of my Christmases have been filled with fun, joy, and love. I remember waking one Christmas morning and discovering a Barbie RV under the Christmas tree. Wow! I can still see it sitting unwrapped under the tree and feel my unbounded delight. When I was slightly older, I asked Santa for a race car track. I received the track, and my stocking also held spare train tracks. Though I hadn’t asked for a train set, I was excited because I obviously was receiving one. However, I unwrapped all my presents and there was no train. I learned later that my mom thought the train tracks were spare race car tracks. Oops! She declared that maybe Santa would give me a train set the next year. By the following Christmas, I’d forgotten about it—disaster diverted! A favorite adult memory is when my husband surprised my family by dressing as Santa. We’d hidden his Santa outfit in my mom’s basement. During Christmas Eve dinner, he slipped downstairs and returned wearing the outfit. As he entered saying, “Ho ho ho,” the table erupted in laughter. It was magical and unforgettable!
Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve
Not only did I believe in Santa, but he also became a reality for us when Reg dressed up and pretended to be Santa. Many years ago, our local costume shop went out of business, and we thought we would just go in there to browse. Sure enough, the store had a Santa Claus outfit. Reg picked it up and said, “Everyone needs a Santa outfit.” So he bought it. There was even a Mrs. Claus outfit. I only got the chance to wear the Mrs. Claus outfit one time before he passed away. But, he played Santa on at least three or four different occasions, bringing joy to my young nephew and even the adults in my family. Christmas was a magical time at our house!