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.
This week’s book bubble inspiration asked us to write a love letter to an author. I devote my love letter to Trisha O’Keefe. Trisha is my mom’s cousin and has written a few novels. After having tumors removed from his spine, my husband got a blood clot in his leg. We rushed to the hospital, and I brought Trisha’s first book, Hanahatchee, with me. Reg didn’t have a book, so he had nothing to distract himself during our long wait. I hadn’t yet started the book, so we began the book together; he listened while I read aloud. I’m grateful for this book because it offered the distraction we needed. Upon returning from the hospital, we continued the routine of my reading a story aloud to him. We enjoyed those moments. Trisha published her next book after Reg died. She dedicated the book to him, which touched me deeply. I even discuss this dedication in my book. I also thank Trisha because she was the only person I knew who’d published a book, so I realized publishing a book was possible for an average person. Sadly, one of Trisha’s students (she was a teacher) pushed her hard enough that she fell over; she hasn’t fully recovered. My mom and I can’t reach her, so I can’t give her this letter.
Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve
My mom’s cousin, Trisha O’Keefe, wrote a book called Poseidon’s Eye. On the first page, her dedication reads, “To Reg and all those gentle people who loved the earth, but left it too soon, this one’s for you.” I’d never told her I wanted someone to say, “This one’s for Reg.” So when I read this dedication, I felt so touched and relieved. I actually burst into tears. If I could make the book a bestseller so everyone would see that dedication and for just a second think of my Reg, I would.