Oh how I hate answering that question. There are no easy answers. People usually want to hear the usual, “I’m fine,” and move on to other topics. But I’m not fine. Life is NOT fine. How do I say that 3 months after my husband died, I still spend time nearly each day curled up in a ball on the floor? How do I say that I don’t see how I can go on?
Even worse is when no one says anything at all. I feel like I’m living a lie. I’m pretending to be normal, to “move on,” when in fact every day is blackness. It’s true that I can uncurl from the ball on the floor and “do life” when it needs to be done, which in fact, these days, is a lot of the time. But even when I’m doing life I feel like something dark is hanging over my head. Then later the dark cloud comes down out of the sky and completely envelops me. I feel like I’m suffocating. Somehow, each time, I manage to emerge, but I don’t know how.
When do I get to feel hope again? When will life be worth living again?
I guess one day I’ll know how to answer the “how are you” question in a way that is both brief and honest.