Monday, March 11, 2013

"How are you?" or "How are you doing?"

I get this question a lot.  Its always THE question people first ask me.  I get why, and I understand the question is generic and well also happens to be my LEAST favorite question.

You see, its not that I hate that people really ASK me the question (I don't...I know people care, I appreciate it more than they will ever know and its better than if people just didn't ask me anything or weren't concerned with how I am doing), its that its just a VERY DIFFICULT question to answer.  There is no way for me to truthfully answer that question without having an hour long conversation with someone.  Most of the time, that isn't really what people are looking for.

So I've taken to saying things like "I'm...ok" (not really truthful, I save this for people I don't really know well or when I want to keep the conversation short) or "I'm alive/I'm breathing..." (truthful but kinda on the dark side) or my most used answer "I'm hanging in there." (barely, but again, its the most truthful).

And that's what I'm doing...hanging in there.  I go to work, I take my kids to their activities, I cook dinner (ok, ok, I usually defrost one of the many meals we got when John was sick and after he passed) or I at least pick up dinner from some food place near our house, I check homework, I do laundry, I clean, etc.  I hate nearly every waking moment of it, but I'm hanging in there.

I'm not "OK."  There isn't anything OK about what has happened to me, and to my children.  In fact, in that aspect, I don't think me losing the man I've loved dearly for so so long and my kids losing their father they loved so, so much is really ever going to be "ok".  Maybe I will move on, maybe one day the sting of this situation wont be constant and insanely painful, but I don't think I'll ever believe this situation was GOOD or was OK.

Despite the fact that I somewhat keep up with normal life, I grieve a LOT.  I'm completely sure that is normal for less than 6 weeks out from his death but its almost like sometimes people want you to hurry up and seem normal so its not as hard for them to be around you, but that is not even CLOSE to where I am at.  I don't think people are terrible for that- I know a lot of people are hurting because of John's loss too- I'm not the only one.  Long time friends and close friends hurt because he is gone too.  But some people kind of don't know how to deal with you and tend to either ignore it, or ask the hated question "How are you?"  Lots want the real answer, but others really want the tidy little version I give- "I'm hanging in there." But sometimes its almost as if people want you to hurry and be "normal" and go back to how things were- or at least as close as possible to that.  Or they want you to be "normal" just because they don't want to see you hurting.  I understand, I get it- I don't want to see my friends hurt either.  Sadly, it just doesn't work like that and I'm just torn up and nothing ever feels right or OK and I'm left wondering what in the hell happens NOW?

I am so sad, and I miss John so much.  Not that such a simple sentence could even really sum up what those words MEAN to me when I say them.  I constantly go to tell him something, even sometimes turning to the person next to me and almost- ALMOST- speaking to them as if they were John when something pops in my head when I'm out.  Luckily I haven't actually DONE that yet, as I am sure it would be embarrassing.  I still think frequently "Oh, wait until I can tell John about this..." until a fraction of a second after the thought runs through my head I remember I CANT tell John about something.  Not now, not later tonight, not tomorrow.  Not ever.  

Sometimes days just feel like any other day and he's out of town even though my brain quickly corrects me.  Once I woke up in the middle of the night (I had fallen asleep watching TV) and my brain was very fuzzy when I woke up.  I remember looking over at the other side of the bed and thinking 'Where is John? His arm must be bothering him, I bet he is asleep in the front." (Before we knew that John had cancer, he had been having issues with very bad pain in his arm and back...) and it took me about 3 seconds for my head to actually clear and realize what I was thinking.  That was one very, very depressing night. 

So I'm not doing that well.  That's the real truth.  I'm sad, lonely, crushed.  I miss my husband more than words could *ever* express.  Its mind boggling to think I'll never see or hear him or talk to him again.  I lack interest in most everything even though I put on a good face overall and (for the most part) do what I need to do.  I keep trucking with my life because my kids deserve it, because its what John would want me to do, and because I know if I just spent all of my time in bed I'd probably get a LOT worse.  Sometimes I do get to lay in my bed a lot and grieve.  But a lot of the time I have to keep moving.  That doesn't mean I'm moving FORWARD- I just need to keep myself moving.  I worry that if I don't keep moving, I'm bound to get stuck where I'm at.  And its a miserable place to be.

1 comment:

  1. :( I am sorry you are hurting so much. I think of you often. I think you are so brave and your kids are so lucky to have you.