Stories - secondary losses

We asked people to share the secondary losses they experienced in their grief:

I discovered that my name wasn't on the home. And, there was a mix-up at- of some sort at our closing, because the paperwork that my mortgage company had, had me on the deed When we purchased the house together, as husband and wife. They had him as single.

I think they thought I just wasn't going to fight, and I was just going to move on. I'm a fighter. I've been a fighter all my life. Um, and I wasn't going to back down. But I hired a bulldog of a lawyer. And, um, I opted for a jury trial because I wanted my peers. I wanted to tell my story. I didn't want to just sit in front of a judge and let him make a decision. I wanted them to see that other people aren't going to tolerate this either. If it happens to me, it could happen to somebody else.

All because they did not want to do a correction of deeds. Simple five-minute deal. Correct the deed. That's all you have to do.

But that's acknowledging their mistake, and they didn't want to acknowledge their mistake. So they put me through this. They put my children through this. The fear of losing our home. I will never be broken. I can be weak and I can be tired, but I will never allow someone to break me and this was a challenge, and I took it as a challenge, and I took on a multi-billion dollar company, and I won.

When Loee died, I found out who my true friends were. I had friends who didn't acknowledge that that ... the death and aren't friends ... we're not friends anymore. I had friends who had ... didn't ... it was ... just brought such uncomfortable emotions for them that they never reached out, and it took them maybe a year to reach out.

I had friends who... just ... would do anything, and they would text, even though I couldn't text them back. They would come over and help. They dropped off food. Um ... it was really interesting what grief and death bring out in individuals.

The person that I was before I would never be again. I would never be her again. The lightness of the world that I had, the lightness of just being able to do what you want to do and travel and be independent, I don't have that world anymore. I was once a wife and I'm not a wife anymore, I'm a widow.

Growing up, every Christmas, my family would do something, my mother, would do something called "Cookie-Bake." And we'd have family friends over and we'd all make gingerbread cookies together.

And, after she passed, there was this pressure then on me to make that happen for my dad, and for my brother, and for the family friends. And that ... I didn't, I'm not a woman. I don't want to be a mother, and I felt all that pressure and expectation to now step into the Mom-role. And so, I was like, (whispering) "Oh, that is not happening."

But so, we did the Cookie-Bake thing, and a lot of friends came and it was lovely. And it was also awful. I just felt ... like the cookies didn't taste right. Nothing looked good. Everything was crowded. It was just like, it didn't smell right. Like, nothing was good about it. And so, the next ... I think it was the next couple of years, we sort of didn't do it.

And, for me, coming to the realization that I didn't have to keep doing a tradition just because my mother had and it was this family tradition. So, that was hard but also really good ultimately for, for me to come to. So that, in a way, opened up the opportunity to build new traditions that still honored my mother but didn't dishonor me.

TJ and his father has the same smile, so it was very difficult to see him every day. Well, and see his smile every day, and it not be him. So to roll over, and he's happy to see me, and I'm lookin' at you, like, that's my baby's face, but that's not my baby.

So I had to split from him.

It got to be too much to see him every day. In the beginnin' we did talk about our grief with each other, but, also, in the beginnin' I was in a solitude place. I didn't want to be around anyone, and we probably should have, like normal people, done it together, but I just couldn't look at him anymore.

It was hurting me to see him, to see Nate and them do so many things alike. It was like torture every day, and I'm already bein' tortured with just the thoughts in my head. But now I have you, that is a spitting image, but not my baby. So, it definitely ... I know that I p- pushed myself out of the relationship. Um, we tried to make it work, but it was just too much for me.

I've always been a kind of private person, um, at least until I know someone. Uh, it was hard to have all these people around. Um, I'd never had people have keys to my house before and suddenly there were keys to my house in all these places. Some I think I didn't even know necessarily, uh, of people that were just helping from our church community, from the school communities. And it was difficult anyway, uh, but it was also a huge help.