Loss Examples

Grief is experienced at 100% for each individual, so it is not helpful to compare loss. 

Primary and Secondary Loss

Grief happens after death and major life changes. Primary losses are obvious losses, such as a person, object, or job. Secondary losses sometimes called “hidden losses,” are more difficult to recognize and are most often associated with the impact or meaning of the loss. Primary and secondary loss examples include:

  • Death of loved ones or pets
  • Relationship in any way with loved ones or pets
  • Identity changed or denied
  • Dreams and expectations
  • Physical health
  • Emotional well-being
  • Financial security
  • Freedom
  • Material things valued
  • Religious or Spiritual faith

Sudden Death

Sudden death may be more difficult to grieve because there was no warning. Examples include:

  • Accidents
  • Disappearance
  • Drowning
  • Heart attacks
  • Miscarriage
  • Murder
  • Natural disasters
  • Sudden infant death
  • Suicide
  • Terror attacks
  • War