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In this paper, we demonstrate the relation between the amount of slowing and the amount of insertion loss in an optical slow wave structure when the material used has finite absorption. The delay properties are calculated as a function of wavelength for a single Fabry-Perot resonator and a delay line consisting of multiple coupled resonators. In all of these delay lines, if the amount of delay increases, the insertion loss of the line likewise increases. For low material loss, the normalized increase in delay is equal to the normalized increase in insertion loss. We also compare a coupled resonator delay line to a simple waveguide made of the same material and with the same amount of delay. The simple waveguide always has less insertion loss than the coupled resonator line because of the unavoidable reflection from the coupled resonator line. Even in the case of an asymmetric mirror delay line with zero reflection at the input, the simple waveguide has less insertion loss.