Updated: Dec 27, 2020
You mean there's more to lose than just my person?
Yes. There are things called secondary losses. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? I mean most losses have some sort of secondary loss, right? People experience them all the time. Whether we break our leg, total our car, or drop our phone in the toilet, we adapt and keep going. Once the leg is healed and the things replaced, life rights itself, for the most part. It can be looked back on as an inconvenience, a bump in the road. It's true some of the adaptations bring permanent change (ie: getting used to a new car, maybe not recovering all lost data), but these changes are manageable and incorporated back into life as we knew it.
But these secondary (and tertiary and quaternary) losses for widows are more than bumps in the road; they are on a completely foreign and unfamiliar map. The changes are permanent and separate from life as we knew it, leaving us feeling like we are straddling two worlds, or even floating around somewhere outside of time or reality. Oftentimes there is not a life left to adapt to.
In this blog I’ll be sharing about secondary losses as I’ve experienced them since losing Rod.
My goal is two-fold:
To let widows know that they are not alone out here in the ether. I believe we all spend some amount of time out here, waiting for our feet to land … somewhere, while at the same time dreading what that somewhere might look like. Not only will our partner not be there to help us navigate it, but also realizing that they will never be part of any of it.
To give people in a widow’s life a peek into our inner-landscape, to see what goes on under all that cotton wrapping that keeps our minds in ‘widow brain,’ allowing us just enough wherewithal to muster a smile and say we are ok. Because we're not even sure what's going on in there. While every widow’s experience is unique, there is much overlap. It’s my hope that these insights will offer you the opportunity to ask specific questions, or move towards particular actions that you might not have otherwise considered, never knowing how much they would be appreciated.