I am deeply appreciative of my friends and family who phone or visit me after David’s death, but when they ask this question, I don’t know how to answer. I’m not “fine,” and I’m not “okay.” I could say that I am, but what a lie that would be. So I have tried out various answers, like these:
“I’m taking it one day at a time.”
“I have a lot of support from my family and good friends.”
“I’m putting one foot in front of the other.”
“I’m eating and sleeping.” (Actually, I’m doing a little too much of the one – people have been much too generous bringing tempting sweets – and too little of the other – I’m discovering TV shows I never watched before -- but I’m sure that will change.)
“I’m getting stuff done.” (And there’s a lot to do, I’m finding out.)
“Compared to what?” (This, only to a close friend who appreciates black humor.)
What I find most helpful for well-wishers to ask is, “What did you do today?” or “What are you going to do tomorrow?” Specific questions that I can give specific answers to.
Everyone in this situation is different, of course, and everyone experiences a major loss differently, so I’m not giving any advice – just saying what it’s like for me. I’d like to know how other bereaved people answer this question from kind people who really want to know.
Close the Circuit of Communication
8 hours ago