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.
A few years ago, I traveled to England and visited an exhibit on Queen Victoria. This exhibit was divided into Victoria’s life before and after Prince Albert died. The rooms for “before” displayed Victoria’s beautiful dresses and her children’s clothing, along with items from her duty as the queen. The “after” room displayed black dresses, stationery with black margins (she’d only sign documents with black margins after Albert died), and other items symbolizing her widowhood experience. Many widowed people feel this same divide—life before and life after the death. But this exhibit showed it in a visual, striking way. When writing my book, I further researched Victoria’s life, particularly after Albert’s death, and included many examples of her experiences in the book. I learned that even though she was queen of a vast empire, she still endured the same emotions and suffered the same experiences as my widowed friends and me. One way we differed, however, was that Prince Albert was the only person who called her Victoria; all others said, “Ma’am.” People still called me “Kim” after my husband died. I still had equals. Victoria didn’t. This knowledge makes me sad for Queen Elizabeth, who just lost Prince Philip. I know she’s lost her husband, best friend, and only person who doesn’t treat her formally. That’s heartbreaking.
Feeling Left Behind: Permission to Grieve
I’ve also included information about England’s Queen Victoria, who lost her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861. For the remainder of her life—40 years—she wore only black. She even got the moniker “the widow of Windsor.” Through her daily journaling, we gain insight into her widowhood journey. I was lucky to see a museum exhibit on Queen Victoria that provided intimate details about her grieving process, illustrating her life before and after Albert’s death. I also found the book A Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death That Changed the British Monarchy by Helen Rappaport to be helpful in researching Victoria’s widowhood. You’ll find many references from Rappaport’s book throughout my book.