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.
My physical therapist lost his cousin—and best friend—10 years ago to cancer. To give me feedback from a man’s perspective and to support me, he read my book. He told me it was a fast-paced book, which surprised him since it’s a grief book. Normally we don’t consider grief and fast-paced in the same sentence. But my physical therapist considered the book a page turner. I didn’t think about the pace when writing my book. I wanted the tone to be casual, but pace didn’t enter my thoughts. However, I’m glad to hear it’s a page turner and easy to read. Although I didn’t concentrate on pace, I deliberately kept the chapters short. When grieving, concentration can be very challenging. Grief experts use the term “widow brain” because it can feel like our brains turn to mush after the loss. For example, after her husband died, my friend had such a hard time concentrating that she wrote a post-it note to remind herself to brush her teeth. Even that habitual and mundane task was too much to process or remember. I didn’t experience widow brain as much as many of my widowed friends. I’m thankful for that, but I appreciate that many widows do. Therefore, I kept my chapters short and easy to process.
Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve
The death of a spouse can also affect the brain. There is actually an expression called “widow brain” because many widows and widowers forget the whole time period around the death of their spouse and can’t remember much. I didn’t have this too much and remember most things from that time period. Jessica, however, has no memory of the first year after her husband passed away. When people tell her about events in that first year, she has no memory of them.