Author Topic: 'How are you?'  (Read 1055 times)

mawidow

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'How are you?'
« on: August 31, 2015, 05:53:18 PM »
I realized something today. I am 2.5 years out, and when I bump into someone (in the halls at work or whatever) and they say, 'How are you?' in that socially ubiquitous, casual way, my mind says, 'Welp, my husband died in bed right next to me and it gave me an appreciation for being alive that I might never have had otherwise even though it also created a level of pain I could not have imagined, but overall I'm grateful to be here and I'm good, thanks.'

But all that comes out are the last 3 words of that paragraph. I know you guys know what I'm talking about. Hugs.

Guaruj

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Re: 'How are you?'
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 08:02:55 PM »
That question bothered me well before Catherine died. She had to endure so many awful cancer treatments over several years. When people asked me how I was, it felt so dishonest to say anything too positive. So, for years, my standard response has been "I'm OK". Only recently have I started to say "good" again. "I'm OK" is still my habitual response.

|+|  M a r k  |+|

mawidow

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Re: 'How are you?'
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2015, 08:24:18 PM »
Thanks for saying that, Mark - it reminded me that I also use 'okay' the vast majority of the time. For me, it's shorthand for, life is complicated and poignant. Sending best wishes.

Captains wife

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Re: 'How are you?'
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2015, 08:48:06 PM »
I find that most people don't really want to hear how we wids are doing but I also know people feel badly for what my son and I went through and they want to ask something. I frequently get told how tragic my story is by people in town who have heard what happened. Gee - thanks, I know but thanks for the reminder. When asked how I am/we are, I plaster a big smile on my face and say "we are doing the best that we can" or "good, thanks". I am thankful for all that I have and have been coping relatively well but being a widow/widower just sucks....All the best,
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 08:50:27 PM by Captains wife »

mikeeh

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Re: 'How are you?'
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2015, 08:57:22 PM »
Like Mark that question has always bothered me because it is always so insincere.

The only thing worse than asking that question of someone you know will give you a neutral answer.  I'm OK or Good thanks.  The only thing worse is asking it of someone you don't think is ok but still think you should get the neutral or positive answer. 

It becomes our obligation to bury our real answer, one very similar to mawidow's, and truncate it to those last three words knowing the person asking doesn't really care how we are doing.

Or even worse, they think it is now safe to ask because you should be okay by now.  Like Mawidow I am close to 2.5 years and it seems nobody even remembers what happened, how torn up my life got 2.5 years ago.  After all this time it must be safe to ask me that question now.  Surely I am over it by now right.

Mike

Needytoo

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Re: 'How are you?'
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2015, 05:30:17 AM »
I use to hate "how are you?".  My SIL use to ask me that and her voice sounded like fingernails on a chalk board and she use to tilt her head when she asked it. Back in the early days it quickly became obvious people really didn't want to know how you really are.
Mawidow I could have written this 'Welp, my husband died in bed right next to me and it gave me an appreciation for being alive that I might never have had otherwise even though it also created a level of pain I could not have imagined, but overall I'm grateful to be here and I'm good, thanks.'
I certainly have come a long way and so much aware of myself and life than I think I ever have.  I have a few people in my life that I can honestly answer that question but for the rest of the world my answer will be "fine and how are you".