Today for some reason the little things are on my mind. When a child dies there are so many things that are different. There a huge things like the fact that they are just not there anymore. There are so many ways life is drastically different. The family schedule should be much more packed-but it’s not. The van that we own is now really too big but was totally necessary before. If we ever wanted to move we would be able to look at houses with one less bedroom. Going out to dinner or a movie is less expensive, so are vacations. But they shouldn’t be. That creates some intense turmoil.
Then there are the little things. They are kind of like grief landmines. These are small things that jump out as I go about my day, things that sometimes make me smile and cry at the same time. Partially to communicate how sucky the death of a child is, and partially for myself so I never forget the little things, I’m going to share some that have come up recently.
Groceries are some of the biggest of the little things. Gabe had lots of favorite foods. Before he got his braces Raisin bran was IT. I am convinced if that was all we would let him eat he would. We went through 3-4 boxes a week. His day would start with it, he’d have it as an afterschool snack, then sometimes before dinner, and usually for dessert. And it had to be Post, but not the post that Costco carries. Oh, no. The flakes are different. So whenever I’m in the cereal aisle I still look at the Raisin Bran boxes. I wish I still had to buy it.
When he had to stop eating raisin bran, he switched to bread with Nutella. I know, it’s horribly unhealthy. But some battles aren’t worth fighting. So we always had Nutella. He didn’t eat it quite as much as Raisin Bran, but he ate it a lot. So much that we would usually go through several loaves of bread each week. Today this love of Nutella and bread was triggered a bit because I had to throw out a loaf of bread because it got moldy. That never used to happen. Ever. It always disappeared long before it got moldy.
Gabe also LOVED milk. We went through 5-6 gallons a week. He would often have raisin bran AND a glass of milk. And not a small glass. A big plastic cup filled all the way to the top. Buying fewer gallons of milk was probably one of the hardest things for me. It was like getting slapped in the face every time I went to the store. We should be going through so much more milk.
There are so many other things he loved that trigger sadness- grilled cheese sandwiches, pancakes, Eggo waffles, and A&W Root Beer, which he is lovingly holding in the picture above. Our good friend and neighbor Jean always had that on hand, he loved going to her house!
As a result of all of those little quirky food related things grocery shopping is difficult. Extremely difficult. I find I can’t focus, and it’s so hard to complete the shopping that I need to do. Some days this one task is harder than others. So if you bump into me in the store and I seem off- that is why. Because for a grieving parent to keep themselves pulled together to walk through a store filled with grief landmines is a very challenging task.
Thanks for reading and getting a tiny peek into my world.