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.
In graduate school, I took the Myers-Briggs test and scored equally on introvert and extrovert. After my husband died, I gravitated more toward introversion and found it difficult to be around a lot of people. However, I believed—and still believe—relationships make life livable. I don’t have many friends; rather, I prefer to interact with fewer people but to know them deeply. My mom is my dearest friend. Even during my teenage and married years, we were close. After my husband died, she was my rock, and we grew even closer. Similarly, I’ve been blessed to have my friend Meg, who’s been my best friend since we were 15. She called me frequently after my husband died and sat on the phone for hours with me as I cried. Meg also knows my history. She knew me when I was an optimistic teenager who believed I’d conquer the world. When I entered the working world, she cheered me on. She spoke (and cried) at my wedding. She also knew me when I had a sister. My sister died so long ago that most of my current friends never knew her. Meg did. When my mom dies, Meg will be the only person who truly knows me—the old me and the woman I am now. That’s sacred to me.
Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve
I’m grateful for my house, which is in a safe neighborhood and is the perfect size for me. It even has a beautiful tree in the front yard that is flowering as I write this. I’m thankful I live in Colorado, where I can hike and be in nature. I’m immensely grateful to my mom, who has been a lifeline to me my whole life. I’m thankful for my friends, especially my friend Meg, who has been extremely supportive during this grieving process. I’m thankful I can pay my bills and have a job that provides me with flexibility. I’m thankful to my cats, who adore me and make me laugh. Sometimes, I feel like my heart will explode with love for them.