Something strange that has happened in the last year is my aversion to grocery shopping. Em and I used to go regularly on Wednesdays or every other Wednesday before Noah was born. It was our routine. She would grab one of those mini kid size carts and follow me around the store, the whole time I’m praying that my heels don’t get plowed over. So then, Noah was born and was at home for only 7 1/2 weeks. 2 of those weeks Jason was out of town for work and one of them, the four of us were in South Dakota, so I only went grocery shopping once during that time frame. When August 2nd came along, grocery shopping was the last thing on my mind. Also, our families were in town for 5 1/2 months straight, running those errands for us, so I knew Em wasn’t going to go hungry. It was a burden lifted, not to mention meals at the hospital for those months!

After January 12th, we still had family in town for a while, but our freezer was stocked full, along with our cupboards, and people were still helping with that particular errand. So, here we are on June 14th and my husband asks me quite frequently if I’m ever going to go to the grocery store? I have gone a few times since Noah died (yes, I realized it’s been 5 months and I only said ‘a few times’…). A couple months ago I went but I didn’t realize how much emotional fortitude I had to muster just to get groceries. I went because at my house, eating the archives of the pantry doesn’t fly well with the hubby. He’s not high maintenance at all, but where Em and I could get by eating breakfast for dinner or veggies and a can of beans from the back of the bottom shelf…well, Jason…not so much. He likes chicken or salmon and veggies, maybe some rice or potatoes. And though any kind of vegetable, save eggplant, is my favorite food of all time, it means going to the grocery store…AND THAT MEANS NOAH’S NOT IN MY CART, GRABBING HIS TOES, COOING, SMILING, AND STARING BACK AT ME.

Yeah, I figured it out.

I have a hill to traverse and it’s the mental picture, or what is lacking in that picture, of me at the grocery store. It may sound small to some, and believe me, I don’t feel sorry for myself, nor do I expect it from someone else. Jason is fully aware of my aversion to the grocery store now. He’s gone and done it a few times, but he always goes when he’s hungry and brings home bags of chips and Milano cookies! One day a few months back Em and I went to the store, without a list, mind you, and upon hearing the total bill from the checkout clerk, my jaw almost hit the floor! I didn’t know what we really needed, and just kept buying multiples of things so I could stock the cupboards and not have to return. I remember coming home with 4 jars of spaghetti sauce…except we rarely eat spaghetti! With that ticket, you would have thought I was feeding of family of 5 teenage boys, not a husband with a moderate appetite and a four year old that would eat quesadillas and apples every day of her life if given the chance.

So, all that to say, I’m asking for a couple extra prayers to be sent up for the mental blockage I have over missing Noah at the grocery store. It’s not like we spent so much time there together! I don’t have all these wonderful memories that make me sad about ‘the time Noah helped me pick out a beautiful artichoke’ or ‘remember how the meat counter lady sliced the turkey…’ And it’s not that I sit there and bawl, either. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but if I don’t get my buns in gear and get to the store soon, just a financial pointer for all…everyone should buy stock in Qdoba and Tokyo Joe’s! No, seriously!


24 Responses

  1. This post really touched my heart and I felt the need to leave a comment.

    Your aversion to the grocery store makes complete sense to me. It is an errand that is done on a regular basis as part of a normal routine. Starting this routine again, without Noah, symbolizes your life (at least on this Earth) is moving forward without him. It breaks my heart just writing this post so I can only imagine how painful it must be for you.

    M. Kate

  2. . . .Doesn’t seem trivial at all, Adrienne. I will definitely pray for you. Thanks for sharing.

    P.S. My husband used to manage a Q-Doba. . .just less than a year ago, before he opened up his current BBQ place. 🙂

  3. After we lost our first two, I couldn’t go to the OB/GYN office for the same reason. I couldn’t put my finger on it, because I loved our doctors there. But the babies in the carriers, the pregnant bellies, it was just too much for me. I could hardly stand to go to the mall or shopping either for the same reasons.

    I wish I could say it got better, but even when I was successfully pregnant again, I still avoided those places like the plague (except the OB, had to go there…)

    I will pray for you right now. It is not trivial at all. I think you are smart by identifying the trigger and trying to work through it. Ignoring it doesn’t help anyone.

  4. I pray for your family every day, but not knowing what to pray for, I always just pray for peace, and allow the Holy Spirit to pray through me (for some that might sound strange). You still amaze me, with your strength. But after being in church last night and learning about the Holy Spirit and how He keeps refilling our Spirits when we keep on giving, I thought of you. Your strength is coming from the Holy Spirit because you just keep pouring into others.
    Keep it up there are so many out here that need to here this.

  5. I just wanted to say I will be saying prayers for you! You are such a woman of strength to me and I’ve never even met you!
    I think I am going to have to try Qudoba! One just opened up in our area! Thanks for all your beautiful posts!! God Bless you all!

  6. The carseat in the grocery cart…every mom knows exactly what your feeling/talking about!!!

    You definately have prayers coming your way!

  7. I call them landmines. Those triggers that remind you of what might have been. When you step on one, you are acutely aware of that empty place in your life where you planned for your child to be. It’s ok. We ate McDonald’s and Wendy’s a lot for two years and we’re doing ok. :o)

  8. Adrienne,
    I understand. My grandmother passed to heaven on Mother’s Day and in the past month the hardest times are when I least expect it. The ‘normal’ every day things. I just didn’t believe that my life would carry on like normal without her being on earth with us. It didn’t seem right to do the every day things.

    I think what you’re going through makes total sense. I am praying for you
    – Randi 🙂

  9. Oh Father, I pray your peace over Adrienne right now. God, I know that your word say that you love her and all of us with an unfailing love, and I claim that for her right now. I know that means that your love is unfailing in the middle of a grocery store aisle- just as real as it is in the quiet of her home. I pray for her to find comfort in knowing that she is never alone as she walks through those aisles, that you are with her always, that your hand is holding hers as she pulls what she needs from the shelves and as she meets other people. I bind Satan from her presence God as she sets out to do this. Bless her Lord, like only you can do. I thank you in advance for this because I know you hear everything we ask and you will give it when we pray believing. Thank you Father. Amen

    Adrienne, I don’t think I have ever posted before. this post touched me though because I thought perhaps I was the only one who ever had felt this way about something that was so seemingly trivial and mundane. We lost 4 children to miscarriage, and even 6 years later, I still find myself longing to go to the baby food aisle and get something sometimes. Not always, mind you, and it’s so much easier to handle now than it was when that pain was still raw. Seems crazy to some, but it’s real to me. I will pray for you without ceasing as you find His strength in this area too. You are a blessing to my life, my Sister in Him.

  10. I will be praying for you. I believe that satan is the main culprit. He’s turned a lovely memory of Noah in the shopping cart into an adversion for you not to live your life the way Noah and God would want you too. I can totaly understand the adversion. I will definetly be praying for you.

  11. I’m sorry that such an everyday task is so daunting for you right now. It seems like that is exactly why it’s so difficult–those everyday things that keep going on even though his life on earth did not. I’ll be praying for you through this.

  12. My heart feels for you Adrienne. To not have Noah with you makes a million things ‘different’, I’m sure. I will pray that God will move this hurdle from you in His time…and that His time may be quickly :). Hugs from Grand Rapids.

  13. This touched my heart so deeply….
    I felt the same when my baby died….I mean I so did not want to do anything that reminded me of a life before without him and NOW without him when he should have been here. It was little daily things that just took the breath out of me. I knew I had to go forward….but I just did not want to go forward….not without him.
    How far would it feel from him if I could keep on doing the daily things without him??? That is what I would think? So hard…so very heard and heartbreaking…
    and especially at the grocery store….so many ladies with so many babies…..I felt I wanted to yell…I had a baby too!!! I loved him!!! He is gone though. I always
    felt such a huge struggle because
    I had such a story on my heart aboutmy baby….but no one there
    knew and I felt no one ther cared.
    {{{Adrienne}}}} I understand…I am sure alot of us do.
    love & hugs~

  14. Adrienne~
    I too have felt this loss, in a different way. My husband was deployed and I despise grocery shopping, he loves it, and loves food as much as shopping. When he was gone I could just cry walking down the asiles. I would just feel such a loss. I know my story is different then yours but I kow that feeling all too well. He will be leaving again soon to Iraq and I will feel this again, it is already starting… I go to the store and think it wont be much longer and he will be gone again. I feel so bad for ANYONE that feels this way. It hurts and you cant put your finger on why! I will be praying for you and Jason and Em. I also pray your cupboards are plentiful! Much love and thoughts and prayers.

  15. Adrienne~
    My heart understands your hurt and ache at something as simple as grocery shopping. I have been there too…where something so seemingly routine took all the strength I could muster- and even then I had to ask for God to pour out Himself in me for added strength. I would gasp at things like PowerPuff Girl PopTarts, or hold back tears when I’d see certain products reminding me of my daughter Teagan. It was the feeling that everyone was going about “life” and to me mine would never be the same- as innocent as it once had been. That’s what hurt. I know that overwhelming feeling, and the feeling too, that it seems ridiculous at the same time. I will pray for you. And I hope that you will be blessed on your subsequent shopping trips, and feel a sense of peace…from the produce section til you reach the checkout. I now ‘ride my cart’ through the parking lot and look for ways to turn my trip into an opportunity to praise God for my blessings…it’s still not always easy- but I know that I am striving to give God glory. Even at Meijiers and Wal-Mart.
    As always, I’m wishing the best for you on this ongoing journey and learning adventure of grief.

  16. First, let me just say that I was introduced to your blog by a very good friend of mine yesterday. And reading your blog let me feeling so many emotions. I personally believe that Noah was put her on Earth so more people could know you. Your way with words, your honesty, and your relationship with God is how each of us should strive to be like.

    And your grocery store blog is spot on. Good luck getting back into a routine…Take your time, no need to rush…

    Thank you again for sharing your story and for opening my eyes to live life differently.

  17. Your post here really touched me — especially because I thought I was the only odd one. My Mom died just a little over 2 years ago, & so grocery shopping fell to me thereafter for myself & my Dad still here at home. Mom & I use to go every Saturday to the grocery store — that was always our excuse for a weekly trip in to town, & it was important to us — when she was ill at last, my Mom begged that we not take her Saturdays away from her. After she died, I had to go & get milk & bread & the other necessities to cook (something else I have had to learn to deal with) — & there I would stand, bawling, in the grocery store, near to having a panic attack, feeling so lost & confused & sad, & there have just been certain aisles I still cannot go down. I agree that a big part of it is that fight against life going on without our loved ones. Makes me wonder now how many walking wounded there are out there in the grocery store? I now make a weekly list, & I clutch it like a lifeline — it is the only thing that gets me through the store. I pray that you will find something to indeed cling to to get you through the store as well. God bless!

  18. First – some thoughts on your last post. My friend celebrated her husbands 40th birthday (on June 3rd) much like you did. (Gary passed away a couple months back) Surrounded by family and friends, celebrating his life and they had a balloon sendoff also. That night, she picked up a book she’d been reading and turned to a page about a conversation between a medium and a family who’d lost their wife/mother. One of those messages the medium relayed to the family was “Tell them thank you for the birthday balloon boquet – tell them I got it and it was beautiful”. They too, had celebrated her birthday/life in this way.

    This is not said to get anyone going on about mediums and the like, but purely that I think those balloons DO get to heaven – and I think Noah was surely MOST delighted with the special gift from you all.

    And I don’t think what you are feeling is trivial at all and I think you, your entire family, has a lifetime of these moments ahead of you. I continue to pray that in these moments you all are surrounded by love, peace and grace to get you through.

    p.s. Audrey (my 5 year old) and I LOVE breakfast for dinner too! ;O)

  19. Adrienne, this post really touched my heart as well. Just imagining life with Noah, had nothing gone wrong and he was still here with you, must be very difficult and something that you will do for the rest of your life. But I am so grateful that you have faith in God and that He’s carrying you through this. I find great comfort in knowing that I will see my loved ones (who have died) again… that is such a precious gift from Jesus!

    You’re in my continued thoughts and prayers!

    God bless & take care…

    (Holland, MI)

  20. Adrienne…

    This is completely normal. When I was about 12, my dad spent two weeks in the ICU. He had a simple knee surgery, and a week later a blood clot formed, traveled through his heart, and settled in his lungs. I remember my mom taking me over there to visit after dinner nightly, and the old TGIF show family matters would always be on. For the life of me, for years if the show came on TV at home I would get a sickening feeling and have to turn it off or leave the room. I think we all have moments like this, and it is hard, especially in your case. I will pray for you!

    Mary Geeslin

  21. When Mom was at the end and looking at the newspaper she use to remind me to tell her friends at church that she would be ‘doing the shopping soon’. I am not sure what is with the grocery store but I still think of that when I go. So I will keep praying for you as we have been. May God continue to be with your family and answer all of those un-spoken prayers.
    I am so thankful for your wonderful celebration of Noah’s life. What a blessing.
    We love you so much and can’t wait to hang out.


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