How are you doing?
A question I hear most often these days. Sadly, I don't know how to answer it...or, at least I don't know how to answer it in ways that won't send my questioner reeling with feelings of dread for even having asked the question to begin with. Generally, I respond with something like...
I'm hanging in there. or
I'm just living day by day (or hour by hour). or
I'm really not sure. I guess okay.
Those are my typical responses. I guess they are my "safe" responses. But, today I started thinking about my real answers to that question. They aren't pretty. They are very raw. So, if you don't want to really know...please go ahead and stop reading and move onto a happier blog post. I won't blame you one bit. However, if you really want to peek into the heart of a grieving widow, this is just a small taste of how I'm really feeling:
*I miss Chris so badly that I hug his pillow so tightly at night as I sleep in hopes of still catching a whiff of his scent.
*I wear his t-shirts to bed and his sweatshirts around the house just to feel as if a little piece of him is still with me.
*I smell his bottle of cologne quite often so that I don't forget how good he always smelled.
*I ache over the fact I had to go purchase his permanent gravemarker this morning and was so emotionally spent following that brief appointment that I couldn't even go to work afterwards.
*I am already dreading our wedding anniversary coming up in less than 3 months.
*I am angry...tearfully angry...that I'm a 39-year-old widow.
*I'm overwhelmed at the outpouring of love and support that I've received from countless friends and strangers, and my heart breaks that my husband is not here to witness the love people have for us.
*I have a long list of things that I can't wait to tell Chris...things that I would normally share at dinner or as we're cuddling in the evenings. I feel as if I'm about to burst, because he's not here to hear all my stories.
*I'm hurt...I'm heartbroken...I'm beyond sad...and yet I'm having to learn how to function with such deep-seeded emotions.
*I'm exhausted from crying so hard, thinking so deeply, and questioning so often.
*I wonder when I'll feel "normal" again.
*And...I crave heaven and yearn for Jesus' return more than ever before.
There you have it...a snippet of how I would really answer the question, "How are you doing?" if I were being completely honest. As I said, it's not pretty. It's just real.