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.
Creativity . . . The truth is that I don’t consider myself creative. My day job is editing, especially nonfiction and technical editing. There’s room for creativity and interpretation in editing, but it’s often black and white. Even in school, I think my easiest class was statistics. Sure, you can get creative in interpreting data, but generating the actual numbers is exact. The one place where I’m creative, however, is in scrapbooking. I almost always create a travel scrapbook when I’ve taken longer or international trips. I’ve done this since high school and am proud of them. I’ve felt particularly grateful for this habit since my husband’s death. By having detailed scrapbooks, I can remember and relive our vacations. He wasn’t photogenic, so he hated that I took so many photos. He believed the pictures should mostly have buildings and scenery, not people. Thankfully, I ignored this opinion and took the photographs anyway. He’s rolling his eyes in some of them, which contributes to remembering the moments. The scrapbooks also include text that describes where we stayed, how we felt, what we saw and experienced, and sometimes the conversations. I’d like to think that if I’d died first, he would’ve been glad to have the scrapbooks to reminisce. (and been glad the photos included us and not just buildings).
Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve
Another example of how TV has blindsided me is when I was watching the CBS Sunday Morning show. This is a TV show that has different segments highlighting special interest stories and sometimes famous people. It’s certainly not a show designed to elicit emotion. It’s just a feel-good program where you learn at the same time. As I watched an episode, a commercial appeared for Subaru and its commitment to helping the national parks clean up the trash that tourists leave behind. The commercial had a scene where the camera looks out the windshield of the Subaru at one of the national parks. Reg and I had spent a month traveling around the national parks in the West and had driven in his Subaru. When this commercial came on, I was immediately taken back to our trip and to the knowledge that I will never go on a road trip with him again. I will never hike in a national park with him again. On that trip, I was the passenger the entire time. So when I saw that commercial, this overwhelming grief came over me with the understanding that I’ll never be a passenger in his Subaru again. Therefore, I started sobbing. Once again, this was an example of just trying to watch TV and being blindsided by grief.