Friday, May 29, 2009

Grocery Shopping

We have not gone grocery shopping since Sage passed away with the exception of a few basic items such as milk. I used to be the coupon queen and have worked hard at building up a 3 month supply of "pantry" food in addition to a year supply of basic essentials. I am grateful for our food storage and SO thankful I was prepared. Most people, myself included, think you need food storage for a natural disaster, loss of job or the Death of a Husband. No body thinks about needing food storage for the death of a child. Why would the death of a child affect your food storage you might ask? Well it never occured to me that the simple act of grocery shopping would become a traumatic experience and take a toll on me and my husband the way that it has. It never occured to me that you might need food storage just because you can not mentally prepare a shopping list or deal with seeing babies. Who wants to risk spotting a child in the same baby carrier or out fit your son had? Or walk by a toy and realize the same toy was hanging from his car seat and oh how he loved it! Yes my husband missed 2 weeks of work but because we were prepared we really did not notice the lack of income. Last night I finally decided we needed some food in the house because our pantry was nearly bare. I was having a good moment! I grabbed my coupon book and went shopping. I got what I needed except the much needed box of baby wet wipes for Jayden. I can not bring myself to go down the baby aisle. I found this poem today and it really hits the nail on the head of how I feel. One day I will be able to go shopping without feeling like this but, for know it is not so much fun for me.

As I persue the aisles,
of the local store,
I see things more differently,
than I ever have before.

"Daddy's Little Angel",
the embroidered bibs do read.
But, Daddy's angel is in Heaven,
and bibs he does not need.

He does not need a bottle,
a teddy or a toy.
Of buying those things for him,
we shall never know the joy.

There are tiny jars of baby food,
that he will never eat,
And shiny shoes with buckles,
that will never touch his feet.

As the bikes and trikes taunt me,
from high up on the rack,
Tears will break free from my eyes,
if I dare look back.

I run off to the restroom,
to blow my nose and cry.
I wipe my eyes, swallow hard,
and let out a sigh.

I must go face the paper,
college and wide rule,
That my little angel,
will never use in school.

I hurry past the greeting cards,
that the people chose with care,
And I am reminded,
of the holidays we shall not share.

In the checkout line I bow my head,
and heavy is my heart,
For the family right in front of me,
has a newborn in their cart.

Shopping in the local store,
used to be mundane.
Now every aisle's full of items,
which remind me of my pain.

So, quick as I can, I give the cashier,
the money from my purse,
And hurry away from those who don't know my pain,
in this foriegnly happy universe.


Liz said...

Crystal this poem is perfect! It's been so hard to explain to everyone how we have felt just going into the store. I know it's worse for you but I do the same thing and feel the same way when I go into a store. I saw a little toy that Sage had hanging on his car seat and wanted to die. I rushed as fast as I could past the baby aisle and made a left into the bathroom. I never thought about it being hard to go into a store after the death of a child. I know mothers day and Christmas was hard after mom died but this is different. I feel so bad for and but I'm glad you were finally able to get out and do some much needed shopping. I love you and am so proud of you. As difficult as this is you haven't have remainded steadfast and strong...your faith is an inspiration to us all. Love Mom.

April Clark said...

What a touching post. With all of my heart, I am still praying for your family. Sage has not been forgotten, not even by a stranger such as myself. I have cried, prayed, and clung to God with you all along the way. May God bless you in a way that only He can.

Amanda and John said...


This poem puts perfectly into words the feeling you have going out, and doing everyday things.

Please know I love you, and I'm here for you anytime.

CHATTY CATHY 1975 said...

Hi. My name is Cathy - and you don't know me - but I had to write to you just now. I stumbled upon your blog (by accident I thought - but have realized since that God intended it to be) the day your son went to Heaven.

I wanted to tell you how much he has touched MY life - and the life of my families as well. I have 4 little girls. I found out I was pregnant on March 20th, 2009 and JUST learned this past week that we are expecting our first boy.

Your angel has been a blessing to us here... in our home. I feel you and I are one in the same - raising our children... and when I read your "intro" ... how you desire to have the home where anyone is welcome and comfortable enough to forage through your fridge... Mine is the same.

Because of Sage - I have learned to LOVE going into my 8 month old daughters bedroom at 3am to give her a bottle. When she wakes up at 6am and is bright eyed... I don't complain anymore. Today - when she was Soooooo clingy to me - and was glued to my hip - I thought of you and Sage. I was thankful for her.

All because of Sage. What a miracle... a little baby is capable of changing MY attitude about being a Mommy (after I've already been set in my mommy-like ways for 12 years)...

I am on facebook (cathy Schmainda) and have pictures on my blog as well. Your son is ADORABLE (as are the rest of your brood!!)...

I hope this brings you some peace today - and that you now know in your heart that he is bringing JOY and happiness and LOVE and understanding and patience to my family...

All because of Sage...

God Bless you all!

debra said...

Crystal, I have been reading your blog for a long time now and have never commented.. I think of you often, and Sage. I know how your heart hurts yet you hide it so well. I know that the pain is never far from the surface. I love the poem you shared. Although I havent lost a child, I have had the same troubles in stores. "This is the flavor of gaterade I bought for him. this is the so hot mix only he ate" it was everywhere, but also was the baby things....for the next baby we wanted and will not have. So much of that is everywhere.
I love the hymn Lord I would follow thee. Here is what the author wrote about it:

"I wanted the song to have both tenderness and conviction. I thought of how I felt when my sister lost her three month old baby and asked me to go with her the following day to find a dress for the funeral and a locket for the baby. I was so acutley aware of the need for tenderness in our dealings with others; I yearned for it in all of the people we met on our way, wishing they could somehow know of the need and pain which did not show." These feelings became the spirit of the hymn, correlating closely with the words "In the quiet heart is hidden/Sorrow that the eye cant see."

I know your heart is filled with sorrow that the eye cant see, as is mine. I remember my mom asking me after the accident "do you feel like you have a sign on your back letting everyone know whats going on in your life." and i said "no but I wish I had one, so people would understand if I start crying for reasons they cant see and they could just let me cry without wondering why."
Youre amazing! I draw strength from you!

I have a private blog but if youre interested in reading it, email me at

debra said...

by the way...this is debra palomo from your ward :) sorry i didnt realize my full name wasnt posted.

Sheryl said...

Crystal - you are certainly not alone. The grocery store is such a painful thing to take on after loosing a child. I think part of why it was so hard for me to do the first time after Esther died was because that was one of the places she had come with me evertime I went there. I don't think there was a time in the 8 months she lived that I went to the store without her. So it was such a painful reminder that she was gone. Really gone. Things hurt that you wouldn't think of like going to church, the park, museums, zoo, etc. It's hard to deal with so much pain.

I too felt so eager for a relief from the grief. I just wanted to feel like myself again. I wanted to feel happy and be able to do simple things with my kids like going to the park - without my heart breaking all the time. Of course we will always miss our little angels, but it's hard to feel so sad for so long. And there are so many different emotions to deal with. I love what Debra said about the song - in the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see. In all the time I had sung that song before Esther died that phrase never stuck out to me. Now I have a full understanding of the meaning in those words.

Sheryl said...

Crystal - It's true how hard it is to do simple things like go to the grocery store. I was surprised by how hard it was once Esther passed away. I think part of it for me, was that there wasn't a time in her 8 months that I had gone to the store without her. She was always with me. So to have to go there with no car carrier in my cart just hurt so much. It was a place that so painfully reminded me that she really is gone.

I read something in your previous post too about wanting the grief to be over. It's just hard to hurt so much for so long. I wanted so badly to feel like myself again. To do normal things with my kids like going to the park without having to fight back the tears the entire time.

I love what Debra said in her comment about the song - in the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see. It's strange to think of how many times I had sung that song before Esther died and that phrase never stuck out to me. Now I have a complete understanding of the significance of those words. In some ways it would be nice to have signs on our backs letting others know what we're facing, and to be gentle with us.

Suzanne said...

The poem is heart-breaking. Prayers for you and your family.

Sheryl McMillan said...

That is beautiful. I stumbled across your family page and the info on the loss of your son by accident. I am so very sorry for your loss.

I know a little of how you feel going in a store or anywhere that reminds you of your son.

I lost my husband suddenly on November 6th of 2008. He went in the hospital for what we thought was just a urinary tract infection and died 2 days later. He had some other health issues, but nothing that would have taken him so fast. He was only 55. Our grandson was only 2 1/2 but he was my husband's buddy pal and does not quite understand where papa went to.

You and your family are very strong and I wish you the best in the coming months and years.

Sage was a beautiful little boy!


Sheryl McMillan

Anonymous said...

I can't say I know how you feel not being able to walk down that baby aisle, but, I can say I know the sense of emptiness you feel and the longing to feel that heart aches for you and your family and I am truly sorry for your loss and that emptiness you fell, I know! One day you'll be able to go down that aisle and it may be sweet sage's warmth touch you'll soon feel that he's letting you know that it's ok to go down that aisle again. When I first went back to work at the hospital after taking much needed time off to be with the kids the first 3 months after my husband passed away, I remember that first night returning to work, I just couldn't walk pass the ER, I stood outside for the longest time because I work in the ER, every night my husband would always call a few minutes of my arrival at work just to make sure I made it there, but, for that night, I just couldn't walk in, for that fact, that I was expecting his call to greet me....I remember the Security guy came around saw me just standing there and crying and he suggested I just go home, I didn't go home that night, I drove straight to the cemetary and though the gate was locked, I pulled up along the gate and got out and just cried and called my husband's name....thankfully he's buried closer to the Country Club so I felt at peace looking in....a police car finally came by and said he'll follow me home to make sure I was took several more tries to get back to work and thankfully everyone was patient with me and I had taken 6 months will get easier...not the heartaches....just the 'being able to bear'....much love to you and your family!

Jessica Caldwell said...

this poem is perfict

Glahn Family said...


I stopped by to read Sage's blog. I'm in tears for your pain. I know we can all put on our Sunday smiles and act as if there isn't a care in the world. Please know Im here for you. Also, You be proud to say your are a Mother to 5 children. You are still his Mother and will always be his Mother. Nobody needs to know your business unless you want them to. Once a Mother always a Mother... Forever and always. you earned that right. So take it. Walk Tall and Be Strong..

I admire you and gain strength from you... Lots of love and prayers for you

Chandy said...

Oh Crystal! My heart aches for you!

Misty said...

I haven't been by in a while, but I wanted to comment on this post. I SO get it. Isaac has almost been gone now for 4 months, It'll be 4 months on August 8th to be exact. I've had a hard time shopping, and oh my heart aches as I pass the baby isle or section. All those things come to mind.... like how I should be buying certain items and how I am not able to now.... It's a heart ache like no other. You cherish you 246 days just like I cherish my 70 minutes. I wouldn't trade it for all the riches in the world.