The 3 words "how are you" that come out of my mouth (as they do most southerner's) with little thought seem almost laughable right now. Still I find myself continuing to roll them off without missing a beat as I greet someone. When the question is directed back at me, I seem to hesitate...
Sometimes I just rattle off "fine" either without thinking or without wanting to really talk about how I really am. Sometimes I'll say "okay" so that the person knows I'm not fine, but I'm not all down and out either. Other times, I avoid the question all together and stop myself from asking back, "Seriously, do you really want to know how I am?"
Why, oh why, do we ask that well-meaning question? I'm pretty sure that most of the time most folks really would not want to hear my honest answer. It is just too much, too much. Yet, sometimes I just blurt out without thinking. I almost need to wear a sign "Caution: I never know what is going to come out of my mouth and in about 5 minutes I'm gonna forget everything I just said to you (not because I don't care, it's just that a major symptom of extreme grief is forgetfulness)."
I really think I would lose my head were it not attached to my body. That also explains the countless phone calls, emails and texts that have gone unreturned or are way delayed. I listen to or read every one, and I am so very grateful to have so many people who genuinely care about how I am doing. Please don't give up on me.
These verses came to me in one of my daily Griefshare emails the other day (for anyone going through grief, I highly recommend signing up for these), so here is my best answer to how I am:
"...hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed..." ~ 2 Cor. 4: 8-9