The Challenge of “How Are You?”

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Grief is being unable to answer the question, “How are you?” because most people don’t want to hear, “I’m a fucking mess!” Others will want to fix you or feel sorry for you. The everyday question becomes overwhelming.

Even if you tell people to stop asking, they won’t. It’s habitual. They also really want to know because they care.

In grief, sometimes we must choose to care for ourselves. That might mean saying “I’m fine,” when you’re falling apart. Other times might invite telling the messy truth and crying the tears regardless of others’ reactions.

Still, “How are you?” can be a hard one. Sometimes I want to scream, “How the fuck do you think I am?!” but then I remember, they don’t know. Sometimes, neither do I.

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