Today, I went to the grocery store. This may sound like a simple task. It may seem like no big deal. It my appear inconsequential. But...I had not been to the grocery store since Rick died. 48 days. More than a month and a half.
My mom brought me things I needed sometimes. My friend Sarah brought me groceries. I spent meals with other people. People made me food. I ran to Target a few times for staples like bottled water and cat litter. But I had not been to Wegmans since Rick died.
Rick and I often went to the grocery store together on Saturdays. It was something we always did, like clockwork. The thought of returning to Wegmans after Rick's death was unbearable. I put it off...and off...and off. It was avoidance, hardcore.
My mom stayed with me last night due to fireworks... (should have thought that through, because they are in full swing again tonight)...so this morning, I decided we should go to the grocery store together.
As I stood at the cafe to get a coffee, I looked out into the hub of the store and I could feel tears springing to my eyes. "I feel like Rick is there in the produce," I said to my mom.
We went through the store from the opposite end so that it wasn't the same "route" Rick and I used to take. My mom was a good distraction. There were times I was seconds away from crying when she said something to take my mind off my thoughts of Rick. There were times when she left me alone very briefly so I could process what I was feeling.
There are so many things I don't have to buy anymore. No more Rick, no more shaving cream. No more Rick, no more Breathe Right strips for snoring. No more Rick, no more Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches.
I cried a handful of times. I'm sure no one realized they were witnessing a widow sighting. But I did it. I made it through. I went for the first time. I finally went back. And now each time will be easier. I stopped avoiding.
After my accomplishment, I got fitted for new running shoes and I went for a long run. No more avoidance, just full speed ahead. No more "starting over," just moving forward.
As I ran, I could hear Rick saying, "Way to go, A! You did it. You planned a funeral. You went to work. You paid our bills. You cleaned the house. You sold my car. You went to Wegmans. Keep running, kid."
There was a point while I was running when I wanted to cry. I could feel the tightness of my throat and the emotional feeling sweep up through my face to my eyes. I looked up at the sky...and I kept running. The tears slid back into me. I let the sun dry up my sadness.
When I got home from my run, I felt good. Empowered. Strong.
I think the new photo for my widow blog should be this one: my wedding rings attached to a powerful arm. Grief, loss, life: full speed ahead.