These Everyday Objects Became Heartbreaking Totems Of Lost Love

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We lived together for a year and a half.

She gave me this pendant to show that our relationship represented a marriage. Our relationship ended because she never managed to come out of the closet.

I was twenty-two and she was thirty-six when we broke up. She now lives with a man, saying that she could never accept being gay.”

Unspecified time
Manila, Philippines

“She gave it to me as a remembrance before I left. I never did get why she gave me a magnifying glass, nor did she ever explain what it meant.
 But she always said she felt small whenever she was around me.”

2001 to 2009
Los Angeles, CA, USA

“I am an artist, and when my girlfriend and
 I lived together she would get antsy for my attention when I was working in the other room. One day when I was painting in our room, she came in and slid me a tiny piece of paper that said ‘pay attention to me.’ I found it maybe two years after we broke up, and it’s been in the change compartment of my car ever since.”

Baseball and postcard with American flag

April 15, 2010, to New Year’s Eve 2012
Kent, CT, USA

“I read that matter is incredibly, mind-bogglingly empty. If you could remove all the space between nucleus and electrons in every atom in the world, the compressed mass would be the size of a baseball. I mentioned this to my boyfriend who loved the sport, and he gave me this ball to use in an art project I hoped to create around the concept. I had lost both my husband and son within four years and was looking for ways to understand the universe. My boyfriend was a recent widower so I thought he understood grief. When I found out that he was sleeping with the wife of his coworker I wanted to take a bat and knock some sense into him.” ●


Excerpted from THE MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS: Modern Love in 203 Everyday Objects. Copyright © 2017 by Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

For more information about The Museum of Broken Relationships, click here.

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