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Secondary Losses

When someone we love dies, the space left behind is achingly obvious. We search to make sense of their absence, to create new habits to accommodate the loss, to find safety in our world again.

We focus on the main loss as it presents itself, and then, WHOOOSH, the floodgates of secondary losses crash through.

The loss of identity, the loss of possible futures, loss of confidence, intimacy, financial and emotional security -- wave upon wave crashing on your shores. And these have to be felt, grieved, processed as well.

Here are some creative writing ideas:

Write a separate letter to each of your losses. What do you need to say to each one?

Write a letter to yourself from each loss. What do they need and want you to know?

Draw out a venn diagram of your primary loss and all your secondary losses. Color them, add words to each one, where do they overlap and intersect? What do you discover?

Be patient with yourself, be kind with yourself.


The work of grief is necessary and exhausting, and rest will help you heal, help you rediscover yourself as you are now, transformed.

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