A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation
How are you? Such a simple question, why is it so hard for me answer and answer honestly? Most times I answer with a simple "I'm ok" a couple of times I think I have even said "I'm good" sometimes though I actually tell the truth and answer "I'm not doing very good" this answer is ok if it was asked with "genuine" concern by someone that really does want to know how I am. Most times though it makes the person asking very uncomfortable and just makes things very awkward for both of us and then I feel bad for having put "them" in a difficult position. WHY??? Why do I feel like I have to lie to spare the feelings of others? WTF is wrong with me?
Does anyone else feel this way?
I lost the great love of my life 10 months ago to brain cancer and am still reeling from this devastating loss. Jeff and I did EVERYTHING together, lived, loved, worked, adored each other, for 20 years together. We were unable to have children. Jeff always used to say "it's just you and me love". I am so lost without him.
Kate, I have been widowed for nearly 3 years now and this is still a difficult question to answer. At the beginning I was pretty honest and answered, "Not good,it hurts, I just cannot fathom that I will never see him again." Close friends offered comfort, and those who were asking just to be polite, sort of winced and shrugged and patted my shoulder and said "It will get better" and walked away. I guess it is pretty much the same with most of us. But again, in the defense of those who shrugged and walked away, until you walk in these shoes you have no idea of what the pain is like. I quickly realized who really wanted to know how I was and those who were just asking. AND, after 33 months I can truly answer "I am OK and sometimes even good!" I look forward to the day when I can say "I am GREAT! How are you?" It just takes a lot of time to go through the grieving process and I don't know of any way we can speed it up. Your pictures look so endearing...the love between you is so evident. I have found talking about it with other widows and widowers helped me to move forward and not get "stuck" in the grief. And even more so, when I can offer words of comfort and encouragement to others, I always feel one step further in my journey to peace and happiness. Wish I had more to say that could help you through this pain, perhaps others will offer more words to help you along. Wishing you well...Tiffany
It IS a really difficult question...I still stumble, answering. For those who you know may not really want anything but reassurance, I say I'm okay, but with a tone that says "I'm okay for how unbelievably sad this is." That way they can take the words if that's all they want, pretend they don't notice the tone or my facial expression. Those who can handle more will dig a little deeper. Yeah, and it's hard, some of the folks I used to consider friends just can't handle any reference to the pain. Those I try to forgive and let off the hook in the future, but also, I don't seek them out either. They are becoming more distant friends, through this, still I am glad to see them, especially when I am in a place to glide over the reality. I think for a lot of us, our friendships shift, after this loss. Focus on those who can handle the truth. You'll find new friends, too. And this site is so good for when you just have to get feedback or something off your chest...my deepest condolences on the loss of your life's love. Bless your heart, sister. Hang in there.
Kate, it such a simple question. Nothing is wrong with you. I do not feel that we have to lie to spare others feelings. To be it is simply, if you ask me "how I am" I am going to give you an honest answer. It all comes down to this for me, "If you truly don't want to know how I am then do not ask the question."
Some days I'm okay, others I'm not okay and some times I respond with I am having a rough day. I have leaarned in the almost 8 months of being a widow and traveling this journey who my true friends are. The other's I just shrug my shoulders and keep on walking because I know they really don't care. I keep my true friends close to me as they are the ones who are still around and really care about how I am doing as I travel this road of grief. The others I don't worry about any more. I am and will always be courteous to them.
HUGS being sent your way Kate.
My answer to the how are you? question really varies from day to day. It depends on my mood. I've said anything from I'm ok, I'm good, it's difficult, to it really sucks, to just rolling my eyes. Once someone said it will get better I and responded " ya right". Sometimes I just don't give a crap if they feel bad. Misery loves company. The people that truly care will be there no matter what your mood. When I'm chatting on FB with one of my best friends from college and she asks me how I am, if I say not good, the phone rings a few seconds later. And we don't talk about the weather.
First of all, I don't think we have met and i am so sorry for your loss. I i lost my husband to pancreatic cancer and can understand the deterioration that comes with cancer. I remember when we lost our neighbor to pancreatic cancer (quite a fluke) and we (both families) stood in a circle and talked about just this question and what we would say. I think we came up with, "I am ok enough" or "I am just about as ok as can be expected" or "I am hanging in there." It is hard. There is just no good answer. Only my REALLY close friends and close family really want to know and understand what a roller-coaster this can be. Others are kind of frightened and really want to think that you are ok. It has kind of surprised me. These ones who "don't really want to know: are a much larger group than I even thought.They were close to us during the illness, brought us meals, talked in great detail about Jud's illness but somewhere, somehow, when he really died, it must have started to feel scary to them. Nothing makes them feel better than to hear a positive response from me.
I am not sure if that makes any sense at all, Kate!
I can feel your hurt. It is so hard to lose your soulmate.
I've learned to have "stock" answers, like "I'm getting by". Say it and don't think. If I stop to think about how I'm doing, I will break down and start to sob. Trying to limit that! I realize now that people don't know what to say to me! Think about it! 6 mos ago , I would have thought the right thing to do was ask a widow how she's doing, too. It's not. Now , since I lost my Hubby, I know that. I'm not asking anybody how they're doing anymore.
After I lost my Enrique, I do not welcome this question as I am not sure whether the people saying it are sincere, curious or helpful.
So I devised an answer that makes them wonder as I go my way: "As usual'. It is up to them to interpret that, either in the past, present or even future time frame. And that response leads to other topics - work, etc..
I usually say "I'm Hanging In" Its true. Sometimes the hanging is by a thread and sometimes at 18mos out I'm hanging by my knees swinging from the trees with my two little ones. If I am having a bad day and I know the person really cares and really wants to know then I'll tell them but for those grocery aisle encounters I just say Hangin In and get on with it.
What freaks me out is when I run into people I haven't seen in a few years. I start to panic a little. "Do they know?? If not, Oh god! I'm gonna have to tell the whole story and perhaps ruin thier day! I'll wait till they ask about Brian......and on and on with how to handle it. What if they came to the wake but I don't remember because thier were so many people?"
My BFF's neighbor did not know. Brian died in winter and it wasn't like she went door to door to tell her nieghbors and they only see each other in the summer in the yard and I wasn't there much last summer. So a few weeks ago when the wife was in the yard we struck up a conversation about a hat Brian had left on the fence post that we had just found. They were shocked and she said that they were wondering why he was never with me at her house anymore. It can be really weird who knows and doesn't even this far out(18mos yesterday).