In three months I will hit the 4 year mark of my husband’s passing. This seems like an eternity and yet it still feels at times like it was just a few months ago. Don’t get me wrong, I have made enormous progress with this journey through the grief. However, there are still those days when the memories come floating back and they won’t leave me alone. The days and weeks are starting to feel like they are moving by faster. Perhaps this is just part of the “getting older” thing that people talk about. That time moves faster the older you get, but it may also be part of the fact that I am adjusting to my new “normal” way of life.
One of the aspects to this type of loss that I find myself still somewhat uncomfortable with are the Secondary Losses. For me these are the people that were part of your life when you were married, who now that you are single, don’t seem to be around that much. Being half of a couple makes many of your “couple” friends uncomfortable being around you. The wives talk to you, but not as much, and the men don’t talk to you at all. It’s like you have become a threat or something. It’s a weird part of this adjustment. I sometimes feel like an outcast. It still bothers me at times and I have tried to reach out, but I am coming to the realization that it is just not worth my time in the long run. Life has changed and the people I associate with have changed too. Yes a few will once in a while call and some of them have life issues of their own to deal with as well, which may also be affecting this. However, for the most part, the couple friends have long disappeared. So, my whole social structure has changed. It’s a new life all the way around.
Secondary Losses can come in many forms. Mine seem to be with the people we associated with. For others secondary losses can be financial, lifestyle, loss of their home, loss of income and many others. The loss of a spouse is hard enough and then on top of this one has to deal with all the secondary losses that start to take place.
This journey through this type of grief is messy, ugly, and brutal. The ripple effects from it are wide spread and not something that is often talked about. It’s complex and so different for everyone. Just keep moving forward, one step at a time. You are doing great and you Will survive this!