“How are you?”
Oh, God, what do I say?
Am I honest? Do I brush it away?
Do you really want to know—
Or do you want a quick answer so you can go?
If I’m honest, then what do I choose to say?
All of it? Some of it?
How I am this moment or this day?
I simultaneously want to be seen
And want to disappear
Please go away—
Please stay near.
I feel so crazy and empty and scared
What is the point? Who’s left to care?
If I shut myself off, it’s a silent hell
But, if I’m honest and you walk away
That is worse still.
The truth is, I want to die
But, I want to live, too—but am not sure why
The truth is, I’m confused
I’m trying to find my way.
So, I take a deep breath
And utter the words–
“I am okay”.
I had a friend who has also experienced loss of a significant person in her life say, “I just wonder sometimes how long it will take for me to feel normal again”.
My response was this…in many ways, losing someone we love deeply is like losing a limb. If I lost my arm, the pain of the wound and the absence of the limb would be excruciating at first. Over time, I imagine it would heal over and I would learn new ways to cope with the absence of my arm. Eventually, I would probably become fairly well adjusted to living without that arm. BUT, I imagine I would probably miss having my arm every single day to some extent…sometimes more than others and there would always be things about me that I could no longer do with that limb missing.
And how much more important than our limbs are our loved ones? They were a part of us…and for now, they have been ripped away. When the loss is new, we think we cannot survive. Over time, we begin to learn to cope and may even try things we didn’t do when they were with us. Eventually, we hope to become fairly well adjusted to living day to day without them here. But, I am certain that we will always miss them….always have times we will become sad…always wish their leaving hadn’t changed things about us that we can never get back.
just as someone who has lost a limb most likely finds solace in talking with others who have had similar experiences, we all find comfort in sharing our losses here with one another. While each of our relationships was different and the ways we grieve can be as varied as the stars, there is much we have in common and understand about one another that no one else understands. Understanding does not bring back limbs or loved ones, but it does help us not to feel so alone…and that is a great gift that gives us strength.