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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

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.


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Comment by Hope on December 21, 2016 at 4:47am

Dear one, I understand and I feel so similar. We have to keep believing that it will get better.

Comment by iunderthefarmhouse on December 20, 2016 at 7:44am

Sherry, Pearl Jam has a song that my husband loved and used to sing at the top of his lungs, "I'm still alive". That's what I say.  It's a foolish question, I agree, but a lot of folks say dumb stuff because they feel like they have to say something., I guess  At three months I was staring at the television all night and flipping through channels endlessly, self medicating with cable tv.  I wish I had some answers to your questions, I do not.  Just keeping talking about it, that's about the only thing that helps me, lately. Peace and hugs to you. 

Comment by WittyBlondeWolverine on December 19, 2016 at 5:26pm
Hi Sherry,

I don't know if there is really an answer for any of these questions. Some days I am okay talking to people about Rob's death. Others, not so much. I think that most people have the best of intentions. They just don't know what to say. I find that as a 48 year old widow, people don't know what to do with me. And, really, that is THEIR problem. I wake up every day and try to do the best I can to make it through the day. I have my really awful days, but at 8 months out, they are fewer. Last year the holidays were awful. Rob was so ill. I spent the day worrying, taking care of him, and trying to put on a happy face. It was rough. This year I'm taking care of my girls and taking care of me. I am managing one event a day. And if people are mad, well, I guess they'll just have to be mad.
Comment by BabushkaD (Debbie) on December 19, 2016 at 4:41pm

I am very new in my loss too. 7 weeks out. I have found that I disarm people, first, when they would say "I'm sorry." and I would say, "Me too." and now if they say "How are you?" when sometimes I reply, "Not okay."

Comment by Jessica on December 19, 2016 at 2:11pm

When you find out, will you tell me? I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Comment by Rockon on December 18, 2016 at 6:22pm

Hello Sherry,

I am sorry you hurt so deep! I entirely agree with Callie2...We must be Patient and although it is difficult to accept, we must continue to carry on. I am 6.5+ years out on this journey on my own and still wondering what my purpose is in this life? I believe there is a reason for everything and my faith and family have kept me keeping on! My brutal honest answer is "I'm still alive" and most find that acceptable as they feel the same. Please know that these feelings will become less painful with never goes away but like Frank says "It does get Softer." Try not to be to hard on yourself and just take one step at a time... We do eventually find some comfort within ourselves.           

Comment by Austin on December 18, 2016 at 5:18pm


I understand how you are feeling.  I hate that question.  Someone asked me that today and I answered so so.

They looked surprised.  I think we are suppose to say fine, so they feel better. 

I am so sorry you are in such pain.  I don't know when you feel hope for my husband died 5 months ago and to me it

just looks endless.  I don't get well meaning people that tell me it is now a new chapter in my life.

I want to scream at them I don't want a f new chapter, I want my old life back with my husband.

I don't think that would be an appropriate response do you?

Comment by Callie2 on December 18, 2016 at 5:14pm
Hi Sherry, I'm very sorry for your recent loss. At three mos, no one should expect you to be "fine", gosh, I was still numb at that point. I doubt if people ask you that question to hurt or upset you, it may be more a reflex reaction. I think I would prefer that to ignoring the subject, but for others, they may just not know what to say or how to ask. One suggestion to "how are you?" might be, "grieving but doing the best I can"

Grief tends to take it's time with us, all you can do is go along with it and feel it. This is how we heal. I know it's horribly painful and I wish there were a way around it but letting the pain out instead of trying to suppress it is much healthier. As far as hope goes, always have hope and hold on to it tightly. Believe that one day you will learn to be happy once again--maybe not the same happy but fulfilling, none the less. It's important to keep that in the back of your mind, you will get through this. Be patient as it does take time.

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