“How are you doing?”
“Good. How about you?”
Typical response to a typical question. I’m sure all of us find ourselves blindly saying “good” to this question without even having to really think about how we really are doing. I get asked this question probably like 10 times a day from coworkers, students, randoms… but I don’t think I ever got asked more than after my mom passed away. That’s when I really started to think about how I respond & what the meaning was behind the question & the answer.
After my mom passed away in May, the question took on a whole new meaning. “How are you doing?” turned into a question I felt like people just asked out of sympathy or to be polite because they didn’t know what else to say. My typical response sometimes would be “good” just by habit, but I’ve noticed myself start to use different words. Sometimes I say “I’m ‘okay,'” “I’m fine,”or “alright” or sometimes I just bluntly say “I don’t know.” I would catch myself giving my typical answer & I put an effort in actually trying to be a little more truthful in my answer. It felt wrong to say I was “good” when I was everything but. At the same time, did we really want to start this conversation…
When you ask this question, do you REALLY want to know how I feel? Are you prepared to hear how I am doing?
If you asked me right now, I’d tell you that I’m doing the best I could possibly be considering I’m grieving the loss of my mother, I’m exhausted most of the day, & I live my life one day at a time. Sometimes I have a good day, but most days are not so great. Sometimes for a moment I forget I lost my mother & than in the next moment, I’m crying because I walked into Seafood City & was reminded of my mom.
To be blunt, I’m not good. I’m not okay. & I’m fine with that. Some things will get better & other things never will.