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 was diagnosed with diabetes at 9, so I stopped eating sugar (though I resumed eating it as an adult). When you can’t eat Halloween candy, there’s no point in trick-or-treating; therefore, I gave up trick-or-treating at a young age and stopped caring about Halloween. I enjoy seeing people in creative and elaborate costumes (if I leave the house on Halloween), but I haven’t worn one in years. What intrigues me about Halloween, however, is the notion that the veil is thin between this world and the afterlife. I realize that may sound ghoulish or scary. But I find it interesting. Could my husband be closer on Halloween? I like the idea. In fact, a couple of years ago I tore my rotator cuff and needed surgery. I intentionally chose Halloween for the surgery day because I was charmed by the idea that my husband could be closer. I believed that under anesthesia, my brain would—maybe—sleep and allow my soul to converse with him. Am I crazy? Maybe. The problem with anesthesia is you recall nothing after you wake up. I can’t tell you if I visited with my husband. The last thing I remember is saying to the anesthesiologist, “Where is your costume?” Then boom! I was asleep. But, perhaps I had a delightful visit with Reg.
Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve
In Mexico, people celebrate Día de los Muertos, or the “Day of the Dead,” on November 1 and 2. During these celebrations, people honor and reconnect with deceased family members by building altars to welcome spirits back from the spirit world to the living. The altars contain offerings, including flowers, photographs of the deceased, candles, and the deceased’s favorite foods and drinks. These foods and beverages help with the hunger and thirst that result from traveling from heaven back to the realm of the living. The festivities, which celebrate the lives of the deceased, feature dancing and social activities, and many people dress up as skeletons. In essence, these celebrations honor the dead and occur every year, regardless of how long the person has been dead.