Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How are you doing?

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.


  1. Leah, I think it *is* pretty! It paints a beautiful picture of your deep, lasting love. And as painful as it seems, everything you think and feel is totally normal. Over the course of time, you will find a new normal. I promise. But until then, keep treasuring, thinking, and feeling...and we'll walk this path with you, as dark as it seems. *hugs*

  2. Leah...I am so sorry for the pain you are experiencing...I understand...from the hugging of his pillow to the wearing of his shirts...I look forward to getting to know you better in the adult ladies connect thoughts and prayers are with you....Colleen T.

  3. Leah,

    You continue to be on my heart. How are you doing is a hard question to answer after losing a loved one. When I was a teen I lost my mom and I wish so much I had known how to write about how I was hurting. Your post reminded me that after she died I took one of her sweaters (a pink sweater that she wore all the time) and hung it in my closet. I would go to it all the time and just smell it!

    So thankful for the hope we have in Christ that the separation we have from our loved ones is temporary!

  4. Thanks Leah for your honesty. Time for a scrapbook page .... one of the memories and one of the loneliness that you are encountering...or maybe even a mini scrapbook of your journal's so good and healthy to share feelings, even when thy hurt. Thanks for your sharing!! Liz

  5. Oh, Leah. God is already using your sharing of "being real" to touch hearts. Wives need to hear this raw list... we need to so better appreciate our husbands.

    As long as you can, just tell it like it is... be real with yourself and with God. He so can handle anything we throw at Him and as a loving parent He will be steadfast in his acceptance, compassion, and sorrow.

    God hurts when we do. He is so being glorified by your sharing...

    I hurt for you, even though I did not know you until last week from your post left on leadher blog facebook site.

    I am lifting you up in prayer. Remember there is no "right" way to grieve. Just trust God with your needs, and instincts of what you don't even know you need... only He can lead you through this deep felt heavy emotions.

    Again thank you for your bravery!

  6. No one knows how you feel, not even me and I became a widow at 41 and was left to rear four of my six girls alone. (Two were in college already.) I can tell you that grieving is so important. I had to be so strong for all my kids and I wish I had allowed myself the time to grieve. I do know this one thing. God will give you enough strength for everyday. Praying for you. Janet R.

  7. I got so mad at my boss the other day when he came through all cheerful asking everybody how they were doing and then he saw me and knew he had to ask to be polite. He statement was "please tell me everything is okay at your house and there is no more drama". My answer..."sure, we're all great...thanks for asking...too bad you really don't want to hear how things are". I just don't get why people ask that because honestly....they don't want to know that you are falling apart, can't sleep, can't eat, can't function...but's all good...not.

    You are brave for sharing how you really are...and that is exactly how you should be. Don't worry that others get uncomfortable in your grieve however you need to. It is not about them. Right is all about you. Praying for you my friend. God understands our grief...He's not uncomfortable with it. That's all that matters.

  8. Next time I ask, feel free to be honest... It might not be pretty, but I know that and can take it. :o)

    Love you, dear friend! -Suzanne