I have a very small core group of friends who I can count on. You know who you are & THANK YOU!!! Without you, I probably would have jumped off a bridge or something… well… probably not… it’s hard to raise kids and feed critters underwater…
Anyway, a person who works in the same general area, but not directly with me, and had met John once, asked me… “how I was doing?” And not in that… I just want to hear you say fine and that’s it. But in that, genuine, “Really… how are you doing? Don’t make up stories… give it to me flat & level & straight…”
Now… it’s not unusual for my core group to ask me how I’m doing. (again THANK YOU!!!)
But… it is really odd for somebody outside of that core group to ask. People typically want happy stories… feelings… pictures.. movies…
They don’t want to hear… I can’t get the old fence to work, the tractor isn’t running right and I almost ran sideways into the electric fence, my life is a disorganized mess, my kid won’t stop saying “NO!” and doesn’t listen and every time we go out in public I want to go live in a bunker and never come out, and I’m about to rip out my last hair out because I just can’t deal with all of this at once… oh yeah… and my husband is dead and I miss him so much and shed tears every day, but try not to cry in front of my child for fear of emotionally scarring him forever…
So… whenever anybody outside of the core group asks… I say… “fine,” “okay,” or “it’s going.”
Most don’t even bother to ask.
It took me a little by surprise that somebody actually wanted to know. He didn’t get the whole truth, but he got more than most.
I thanked him for asking and told him that most people don’t even bother to ask anymore.
He admitted that he was actually a little afraid to ask… afraid it would upset me. He said that him & his wife often wonder how I’m making out. I wanted to say… no… no… I LOVE to hear somebody mention his name… share a memory… a story… to acknowledge that he had a life.
I think for most people it’s easier to pretend that I never had a husband… that kiddo never had a father… than to deal with their own emotions or the fear of some grief stricken widow losing it and ending up a puddle on the floor.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make all of the difference… the simple things like… “How are you? “as in… “REALLY, How are you doing?”