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.
As I’ve written in another book bubble, I’m a big fan of bike racing, particularly the Tour de France. After COVID-19 delayed the race for two months, the three-week race finally kicked off this week. On Tuesday, the man who won the stage, Julian Alaphilippe, excitedly crossed the finish line, kissed his finger, and pointed his finger toward the sky. His father died in June, and he was saluting his dad. After Alaphilippe dismounted from his bike, he broke down into tears. His display of emotion and honoring of his dad touched me deeply. I also understood, as I’ve desired to honor my husband. In my book, I discuss this desire. For example, my husband had wanted to ride a 70-mile bike race, but he died before he got the chance. I wasn’t in good enough shape to ride the 70-mile course, but I raced the 24-mile course in his honor. I designed a jersey with his photos and a memorial to him, and I proudly wore that jersey with his bike shorts. Then, I rode with every ounce of energy I had, as he would’ve done. I also purchased a memorial plaque for him at the stadium where his favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers, play. Like Alaphilippe, I want my loved one to be remembered.
Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve
In 2016, the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl. A man named Pat Bowlen, who has Alzheimer’s disease, owns the Denver Broncos. He is still alive but can no longer manage the Broncos. When the Broncos won the Super Bowl, John Elway, the Broncos’ former quarterback and now the Broncos’ president of football operations, held up the Lombardi trophy and said, “This one’s for Pat!” I immediately burst into tears. Similarly, the next day I drove down the highway and saw a digital sign for a plumbing company. The sign said, “This one’s for Pat!” Again, I burst into tears. Why? I desperately wanted—and still want—people to do something or hold something up and say, “This one’s for Reg!”