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 used to sit down each New Year’s to create the year I wanted. I’d set specific goals and identified why I desired those results. I’d visualize my dreams daily and feel the emotions I’d experience when I achieved them. But, usually, those goals and dreams still eluded me. Even more importantly, when my husband got cancer and died, I learned we can set intentions, believe we’ll accomplish them, and work hard to achieve them; yet, sometimes, we have no control over life. It can change quickly, and we can do nothing about that. Therefore, I’ve stopped looking at New Year’s as a time to set goals; instead, I’ve decided to just go with the flow. I’ve set the intention to fulfill my life’s purpose(s). I’ve set the intention to spend time with my family, including my cats, because I understand too well they won’t always be here. I’ve planned some vacation adventures. If I could wave a wand, my book would take off and be “the” book grieving widows turn to after their loss. Grief counselors would include it on their recommended reading list. Grief podcasts and summits would ask me to speak, and bookstores would stock and recommend it. I’ll work toward those outcomes, but I also know sometimes life can go in another direction. So, I’m open.
Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve
A couple of months after Reg passed away, a friend asked me what goals I had now. Goals?! I told her I would never make goals again. In my past, I had goals, including to find a loving man and have a wonderful relationship. I achieved that goal. I had the goal to keep Reg alive, and I did everything I could. Look where those goals got me! I could barely get through the day and was praying for death. Yet this woman wanted me to formulate new goals.