Chapter 3: Identifying your losses

Age-related losses

If you haven’t lived it, you can’t really know what it’s like.

Some of your losses may be related to your age or to your stage of life. Click on the boxes below to see some examples.

Your losses may include the loss of planned adventures or shared dreams, such as travelling or having children together.

You may feel the loss of not being able to share life milestones, such as anniversaries, significant birthdays, or your children’s graduations or marriages.

Your losses may include a retirement that you had planned together or simply “growing old together.” Perhaps you had expected to celebrate grandchildren, do more travelling, or take up new hobbies together.

Your losses might also include a lost sense of security or loss of independence. You may feel socially isolated with limited peer or family support.

These life stages are a general guideline only. Your life path may be different.

What may help

  • Take time to reflect on your losses and how they are impacting you.
  • As difficult as it may be, try letting family and friends know what you are thinking and feeling, as well as what might be most helpful to you at this time.
  • Seek out other widows or widowers whose grief experiences may be similar to your own. They may have a sense of what you are going through and be able to make helpful suggestions.
  • If you aren’t getting the support that you need, find a grief counsellor who can listen to your concerns and help you find ways to live with your losses.