Alexander and I went to Shoprite 2 or 3 times a week to do our grocery shopping. In the early days of grocery shopping, he’d sleep in the car seat as I went through the aisles. As he got older, the store became a fun, teaching environment.
Sometimes, we’d stop at the in-store Dunkin Donuts and get a smoothie before heading to the produce aisle. As we strolled through the produce, I would point out apples, bananas, oranges, and other foods. He never mastered saying bananas but enjoyed saying apple and pointing them out out to me.
Alexander loved to eat and I usually had to give him a snack on our grocery journeys. As I put stuff in the cart, he would reach for the Nutri Grain bars, a juice box, or perhaps a cheese stick.
At the last minute yesterday, I decided to make a trip to Shoprite and get food for dinner. I was fine until I entered our store. I started bawling as soon as I passed the flowers. I quickly got the few items I planned to buy and left the store. I can only imagine what the other customers must have thought of me as I was walking through the store with tears streaming down my face.
I tried but I just couldn’t stop crying. Alexander and I had some good times together on our visits to Shoprite and the trip just made me miss him that much more.
I know that you have not heard from me lately, but you, Dan and Alexander are on my mind quite frequently. While I have been keeping tabs on your blogging at this site, I have felt very inadequate as a friend, because “just being there” in case you need us doesn’t seem to be enough, but I honestly haven’t had anything better to offer. As your friend, I want you and Dan to be “OK” again, but as a fellow parent, I know that just isn’t possible. So I hurt for you two, not only for your loss, but for your ongoing struggle to cope with it.
Feeling I had to try and do something, I asked an acquaintance of mine who works for with a charitable organization that grants wishes for seriously ill children if she knew of any grief counselors that she could recommend. She in turn contacted some folks at other organizations, and they recommended a support group for parents who’ve lost children that has a chapter locally in Hamilton. It’s called “The Compassionate Friends”, and they have both a local chapter website (http://www.tcfmercer.org/) and a national organization website (http://www.compassionatefriends.com/). I don’t know if you’ve heard of them, but I looked over the two websites and thought it might be something that might be useful to you and Dan. The next meeting of the local chapter is March 2nd. If you would like, either Lisa or I could accompany you if you weren’t sure you could go on your own. The national site also has online help if you wanted to chat with someone before then, and some other materials.
I hope that this is of some help. Know that you can call on us at any time, and that you all remain in our thoughts.