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’m a white female who grew up in a middle-class neighborhood and was fortunate to receive a private-school education. I didn’t consider myself privileged; that’s all I knew. As an adult watching the world now, I realize I was—and am—“privileged.” I’ve never faced discrimination; only my abilities have mattered, not my skin. I traveled to Kenya two years ago, and I was occasionally the only white person. It was a strange experience, but I never felt unsafe. It saddens me that the opposite is true in America; a black person may feel and be unsafe. I don’t understand why there are such inequalities in our world. In my 30s, I visited a federal prison to help teach the inmates life coaching skills. I’ll never forget coaching a tall, muscular, black prisoner covered in tattoos. I remember thinking I’d probably be afraid of him alone in an alley. But, he sat in front of me sobbing; his mom had died while he was in prison, and he didn’t get to say goodbye. I remember reflecting that no matter what you look like on the outside, we’re all the same. We’re all humans—with the same emotions, needs, and desires. We especially all grieve the same. Why isn’t that obvious to all?
Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve
I’ve become friends with all of these widowed people. In total, since Reg died, I’ve become friends or interacted with twelve widows/widowers. The youngest was 23 when her fiancé passed, and the oldest was 72 when her husband died. Some lost their spouses unexpectedly; some lost them after a long illness. Some had kids in grammar school, some had teenagers, some had grown kids, and some (like me) had no kids. I’ve discovered that regardless of our age, gender, child status, or the circumstances of the deaths, we’ve all felt many of the same feelings, such as deep and unexpected sadness, anger, bitterness, and many more, which I will detail throughout this book.