We were on a boat and I could see the shore in the distance. A few old friends, some of Lydia’s old friends and me. No clue what we were doing there but it was nice to see everyone. Suddenly, the boat began taking on water and would soon succumb to the power of the ocean, but not before we reached the safety of land. Panic was setting in as my life flashed before my eyes and I scrambled to grab everything of Lydia’s that would fit in my tightly clenched arms. Her artwork, her purses that contained her lipstick and Kleenex, her hairbrush, stuffed animals and took them onto shore with me.

Afraid of what I might lose, which would be everything all over again? Just the thought of that brings sheer terror to my already fragile mind.

I grasped the box of her clothes, and everything else within my reach. As I look around to what would be left, everything contained a memory. These memories were something I could never lose, yet worked so tirelessly to keep.

It was petrifying and vividly real.

I awoke with my heart racing and took a deep breath as I realized it was all a dream. One that I will never forget.

What was I really afraid of?

The dream made me aware of how frightened I was, not wanting to lose her again. Secondary loss. After we have already lost the loved one, we desperately want to cling on and hang onto every last thread, everything they wore, everything they touched.

Being afraid we will forget and lose them all over again is terrifying. The photos, the videos, the clothes, the possessions mean more now than they ever did.

Some may call it strange, weird, or ridiculous, or needing to move on……I call it undying love.

Lydia’s favorite steak sauce was A-1. She called it, “1-A” sauce and requested it every time we would eat the delicious meat. After she died, and I opened the fridge a few months later, that bottle of “1-A” sauce became a coveted treasure. It stared at me, piercing me with the memories that it contained. And the tears followed, as I closed the door. This bottle remained in our refrigerator for years and even though empty, it accompanied us on our move to our new house. Today, it sits on my kitchen shelf above the sink where I look at often and smile. www.grievinggumdrops.com

Something so simple can bring an infinite amount of joy and endless memories.

The “1-A” bottle, the fingernail polish in my bathroom sink, the green headband hanging on the antelope in the living room, these lasting items become precious jewels containing magical moments of the past, yet when they are placed in the present, they represent the delicate dance in fantasy and reality. A balance of two separate pieces of time co-existing in the present moment.


It’s really quite incredible.


So display your treasures proudly and savor each and everything. The memories will be ignited by a brief glance and you will be so thankful you have them.


5 thoughts on “Secondary Loss and Steak Sauce

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