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.
Fall is here, with its crisp morning air, cooler daytime temperatures, and changing leaves. I’m not, and never have been, a fan of fall. As a serious and hardworking student, autumn meant a return to the grind. Summer equaled—and for me still equals—long, fun days; traveling the world; reading many books; hiking; and relaxation. Each year as fall approaches, I get anxious and feel I must take advantage of the end of summer. I must accomplish as many hikes as I can before hiking season ends; I must sit outside and read many books before the warm days are gone; I must enjoy the remaining vegetables in my garden before they die; I must swim before the pool closes. In other words, I must enjoy life before death (winter) arrives. As a fan of fall, my husband hated hearing me complain about autumn; he told me I’d start fretting about summer ending as soon as June ended. I often joke that not even his death has saved him from hearing me complain about fall. This year, I’ve tried to be more mindful about fall’s benefits by seeking out hikes known for their gorgeous fall leaves. It has helped, but I still feel anxious with each passing fall day.
Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve
We discussed what we would do on future vacations. We planned to journey around the country—maybe in an RV—and take road trips, especially to the national parks. We had even discussed a trip to Utah to hike Utah’s national parks: Bryce Canyon, Arches, Zion, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands. Unfortunately, this trip was supposed to happen in the fall when Reg’s cancer returned. He wanted to bank his vacation time for chemotherapy rather than the trip. We figured we would just travel the following fall. By the following fall, however, he was paralyzed and close to death. Every time I see an advertisement for Utah’s parks or hear people discuss their travel to these places, I feel bitter and sad that we never got there.