Everyone Around You is Grieving So Be Kind and Put Your Damn Shopping Cart Up
Yesterday, I lost my grandpa. I've never experienced grief like this before, and to be honest it's hit me like a gut punch. After I found out the news of my grandpa's passing I needed to run an errand, and just a little kindness would have helped keep me from sobbing in the shampoo aisle.
When I left work I got the news that my grandpa had passed. I held it together when I found out because I had to pick up my son from daycare and I didn't want to be driving and having a meltdown at the same time so I kept my composure. On the way home, I had one errand I HAD to run, I was out of shampoo. It's such a weird feeling knowing that my life just had a major change, yet I still had this mundane task that had to be done. So I thought, I'll run by, grab my shampoo, and get home in time for a mega meltdown.
As I'm trying to hold it together, I pull into my parking spot as a gust of wind whipped up and a shopping cart went flying across the parking lot. The cart was heading straight for the car parked in front of mine. So I jumped out of my car and ran and grabbed the cart and put it in the cart rack. The cart rack was literally four spaces from where someone left their cart. It would have taken them less than 30 seconds to put the cart back. RUDE. But whatever. I put the cart up and saved the minivan that was facing my car from a shopping cart-sized dent.
Then I had to run in and grab my shampoo. I was fighting back tears because I knew once I let the tears go it would be like opening the flood gates. So I grabbed Riley in his car seat (he's still in an infant seat that clicks in and out of the car) and headed to go get my shampoo. As I walked in, two women came out, and one had a stroller so I held the door open. Both walked past and didn't even look at me. RUDE. RUDE. I know it's a small thing, and I didn't hold the door open for a "thank you" but come on - even a polite smile would have been nice. Normally, I wouldn't have cared, but yesterday, I think I just needed an ounce of kindness thrown my way.
I made my way through the store and I got to the shampoo aisle when my husband called to check on me. "Hey, you doing okay?" And right then and there, I lose it.
I'm not okay.
I'm sure I looked like a crazy person with my son in his car seat sitting next to me while stood there sobbing in the middle of the shampoo aisle. I made myself get it together so I could go check out, and as I walked to the front, someone cut me off in line. RUDE RUDE RUDE. Whatever. I just wanted to get home. I checked out, got to my car, and managed to hold it mostly together while driving home. When I got home, I closed the garage door behind me and fell apart. I'm talking full-on ugly sobbing until I couldn't breathe.
As I said earlier, I've never experienced grief like this, and one thing I've learned is one of the hardest parts of grief is you feel like your world is crumbling around you, but the real world doesn't stop just because your personal world is crumbling. And it's so hard to just carry on like everything is okay. I just wanted to scream "I'm struggling, please be nice!"
There's a piece on grief written by John Pavlovitz that is titled "Everyone Around You is Grieving, Go Easy." And after yesterday, his words hit the nail on the head.
I guess the whole point of this long rambly article is to serve as a reminder. We're all going through something. Especially with the pandemic after these last two years, we're all struggling. But you never know what someone else is going through, please just be nice, and put your damn shopping cart up.
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