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’ve enjoyed some pleasant surprises during the COVID-19 quarantine. My book, Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve, was named a finalist for two book awards: the Book Excellence Awards and Colorado Authors’ League (CAL) awards (I’m still waiting to hear if I won this one). I received notice of the Book Excellence Awards just as we entered quarantine. In early March, I attended Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour at Denver’s Pepsi Center, the venue for professional hockey, basketball, and concert events. As I stood in a long line for the restroom (imagine the lines at a large venue filled almost exclusively with women!), I pulled out my phone to read my email. I had an email announcing I was a finalist! Wahoo! Before I had a chance to share the news, however, Colorado went into lockdown, and life became more uncertain. Though the news and recognition thrilled me, I felt uncomfortable and guilty sharing my joy knowing others were suffering. I finally shared the news, but I haven’t contacted the press yet. I received word about the CAL awards two weeks ago, and I haven’t contacted the press yet or told many people. My book is about grief, so I feel uncomfortable celebrating it while we’re given daily death tolls. But, I’m delighted and thankful for my surprise awards!
Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve
I dreaded my first birthday without Reg. My birthday is in the summer, and I always like to hike on that day. Reg was usually my companion for those hikes and often took a vacation day from work, so he could be with me. On one birthday, he surprised me with a trip to Aspen and on another birthday, he surprised me with a trip to Telluride. One year, I had my 40th birthday the day after he started chemotherapy, so he didn’t have the energy to hike. But, we went to the mountains anyway and stayed at a friend’s condominium. Two friends met me in the mountains, and we hiked. When I returned to the condominium, Reg had decorated it with happy birthday banners. I was so thrilled! He had gone to the local market and picked up a yummy birthday dinner and even vegan birthday cake, which was so surprising. I never thought anywhere in this mountain town would sell vegan cake! He sang “Happy Birthday” to me and lit candles on the cake. Even when he didn’t feel well, he still made my birthday a big deal.