February 24 2020 0Comment
cremation services serving the area of Bellingham, WA

Understanding Secondary Loss

After cremation services serving the area of Bellingham, WA, the overwhelming sense of the magnitude of the loss of your loved one begins to take hold as the reality of their death is now a permanent fixture in your life.

However, contrary to what people who haven’t experienced the death of a loved one may think, the loss is not a single loss. There is, of course, the earth-shattering loss of someone you love that death brings. But, as time passes, there are other losses you realize you are suffering. These are called secondary losses.

One of the reasons that people who are grieving may not get the kind of support they need further down the road in their grieving process is because many people aren’t aware – in fact, they probably weren’t aware when their loved one died – of all the secondary losses that follow in the wake of losing someone you love.

Most people are surprised at secondary losses because they don’t expect them. But death changes everything. And in death, losses pile up.

Some of the things that fall into the category of secondary losses after the death of a loved one may include:

  • Loss of intimacy
  • Loss of love
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of friendship
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of support system
  • Loss of financial security
  • Loss of identity
  • Loss of plans and hopes for the future
  • Loss of confidence
  • Loss of faith

While all of these losses are real and they make absolute sense in the context of losing someone you love, they are seldom recognized by other people as losses. The issue of loss and grief is complex and, in our society, which has become somewhat emotionally shallow, we don’t often see or know about this complexity.

Therefore, as you progress down the road of grief and these secondary losses become apparent, deepening the overall loss you’ve experienced with the death of a loved one, you may find that friends, and even family, can’t understand these losses – and how deeply they affect you – and they may be critical of you, instead of supportive.

They may tell you that no one should be grieving for as long or for as much as you are. The message, which is not intended to be mean or callous, although it certainly comes across as both, is that you should just get over the loss and move on with your life.

But, as secondary losses become painfully clear, getting over the death of someone you love and who was such an important and integral part of your life and moving on is not something that happens quickly or easily.

In fact, with secondary losses, sometimes you may find that you never recover fully from them. For example, if your loved one was the primary source of income that provided financial security for you and your family, that may be a secondary loss that you live with for the rest of your life.

It may impact the entire family for years, as you go from a financially comfortable status with a secure present and future to a financially less-comfortable status with a loss of security both in the present and in the future.

As you begin to experience these secondary losses, it’s important to have support and help to navigate through them. Grief counseling and grief support groups may be beneficial so you don’t have to go it alone.

If you’d like to learn more about cremation services serving the area of Bellingham, WA, our empathetic and knowledgeable staff at Moles Farewell Tributes & Crematory – Bayview Chapel can help. You can come to our funeral home at 2465 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, WA 98229 or you can contact us today at (360) 733-0510.