Why It’s Okay to Cry in the Grocery Store

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I cried in the grocery store last week. I’m not talking dainty, single droplet tears that can easily be sucked back into your eyeballs. No no, I’m talking giant, crocodile tears, sitting on the floor of the spice aisle with people staring at me like I needed a vacation in a white straight jacket.

Why the tears? I couldn’t remember all of the spices my mom put in her chili and I pulled my phone out to call her and… realized she wouldn’t be on the other end.

My mom has been gone from this earth for a year and a half but I still find myself reaching for the phone to call her often. And some days, like last week, the result of this is a full-on grief wave in the middle of Crest.

And you know what? It’s okay.

This society we live in wants us to shove our grief down into this neat tiny box because the thought of making other people uncomfortable by it just can’t be fathomed.

When you are grieving the loss of someone you love and care about the last thing on your mind should be wondering how your grieving process makes other people feel. Zero parts of your brain is how much space that should occupy.

Grief is uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable and painful and it’s not talked about like it should be. It’s not quick and it’s not easy. And the hardest part? There is no roadmap for it. There are no directions on how to safely make it to the other side.

Do you remember the old video game Frogger?

Where the entire premise behind the game is this frog trying to make it safely to the other side without getting sideswiped by a semi-truck racing down the highway? Sometimes the frog darts halfway across the street before getting flattened like a pancake. Other times.. the times the player “wins” are when the frog darts forward and backward and in between and left and right and finally makes it to the other side.

That’s grief.

It is not a linear motion, it’s frogger. But instead of semi-trucks, there are bottles of Season All on aisle 8 that flatten you like a pancake.

So what do we do? What do we do when we’re pressed down underneath the weight grief carries? We sit in it. We sit in it and we share in it and we go through it. Yes through it, because there is no way around it only through the uncomfortable, painful moments. Even if that comes in the middle of the grocery store on a Tuesday evening.

 

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