How to answer “how are you “you ok”

Hello, I lost my partner 7 months ago now. I seriously cannot answer the question “how are you” “are you okay” on a daily basis I really struggle and I hate people asking me. It makes me really anxious and I do everything I can do avoid it. does anyone else feel the same? Does anyone have any tips?

Hi im so sorry for your loss it’s six months and six days since my soulmate of seventeen years fell asleep in my arms im utterly heartbreakon and truamatised every second of the day gets worse im sorry I cant answer that for you it makes me anxious too because what can you say when all you want is your soulmate back in your arms take as much care as possible your in my thoughts x

I am so sorry for your loss as well. Sending you lots of love, There is no words for any of this. I just don’t know what to say when someone asks because obviously I’m not ok and I never will be now how can they expect me to just be ok because a few months have passed. Hate watching everyone carry on with their lives around me (it’s not their fault) it’s just not fair.

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Thankyou for your kind words means alot im the same don’t know what to say unless someone has lost there partner the one you dream of growing old with they will never understand like now we’d discuss what’s for tea watch television have a good night kiss all been so cruelly and brutally taken away from us bank holiday weekend coming up everyone will be so happy I wish them all the best and happiness just hurts knowing me and my soulmate were out last may bank holiday enjoying ourselves not to know what October was to bring I didn’t even open the blinds all Easter just stayed in bed mostly my heart is broken I cant function anymore every day second is getting harder take care as much as possible your in my thoughts another long lonely silent night full of sorrow ahead x

Hello, I lost my mum 6 weeks ago and it is actually really annoying me when people ask how are you? How are you coping? I just want to tell them to leave me alone. I don’t know how I’m coping. People can’t win, I’m angry with them asking if I’m ok and I’m angry that some people haven’t even bothered to ask. It’s awful.


For weeks I just said I don’t know how to answer the question. I’m still struggling with an answer. Often it depends who is asking. Are they really bothered for the long answer.
I continually asked my wife as she was dying. Her answer never varied “I’m fine”.
Sometimes I just use that response as it is easier.

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I agree.

I can’t say I am fine because I’m not, so I just say “not great”. Then people can either carry on, or can react sympathetically, depending on the circumstances. Saying not great works for me because it’s not a lie, even though it doesn’t begin to describe the grief inside. I loved my husband so much and miss him so so much.


Same here it so so sad im my thoughts another long lonely day ahead as we should be waking up together television on plans for the day instead a quiet and silent house and another long lonely night filled with sorrow awaits x

Where I live asking if your OK or “how’s things” is just an everyday greeting. I usually say “I’m fine” to those people who I know aren’t that interested in hearing any more than that. If I think people are interested I will tell them a bit more, until the point where their eyes glaze over or when I can tell they regretted asking.


Yes I know people want you to say I’m fine, but I sort of feel that that belittles Patrick whose absence needs to be acknowledged even if only indirectly. I am very sensitive to this whole issue of him not being me ironed- it really hurts me.

Me ironed equals mentioned! Predictive text !

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I completely get that. Maybe, like me, the passage of time will soften things a bit and that hurt and pain will be less acute. It’s nearly nine months for me and I’m recognising some changes in how I think and feel. Some things still matter a lot and some less so. I’m beginning to think that different “parts” heal at different rates

I’m glad that you are noticing changes, which I imagine means that the pain is feeling less raw and overwhelming. I am sure that I will get to a stage where I can feel happy again but at the moment it seems impossible. I just feel nothing but loss. Anyway thank you for your words.

Me too just loss and devastion its six months and ten days today sorry to hear about your loss it’s heartbreaking in my thoughts x

It does depend on who’s asking for me too. Its coming up for 6 months since I lost my wonderful husband to MND, he was only 50 and we had 30 years together which wasn’t enough. At work it very much depends on who’s asking, mostly I put a mask on and say I’m fine because I know the folk who probably dread my answer as they wouldn’t know what to say. I’m honest up to a point with my children who are all grown up, but I can be really honest with my mum especially. Mostly I cry by myself and end up putting the mask on again and getting on with it as I have no option, I need to work to pay the bills. Its absolutely awful.

Impossible to answer … makes me mad … I feel like snapping back how do you think I am but I never do. I’m still waiting for 29th May for my husbands funeral. He was only I’ll for eight weeks … I’m in total shock. I’m so sorry for everyone here it’s just unbearable … both our adult sons have died too so that just leaves me, Sue x

I lost my wife on 11th december . The question used to make me so angry , along with " l know what you are through " now the anger has gone because l never really knew what people were going through . Even my own father . So the only way l can answer this question is honestly and l say " you really want me to tell you " ? and if they do l tell them " absolutely crap , but l am learni g to deal with it "

It’s something I can relate to from different positions. I’m a member of U3A and I’ve chatted to a couple of people who were bereaved more recently than myself. I don’t know them well but as each of them participate in things that I attend, I’ve usually tried to chat and just see how they are doing. My normal greeting is “Hi. How’s things” and I really struggle to ask in a way that seems forced and unnatural. With one of them it seems that she likes being asked and we are quite open with each other. We are similar ages and meet in a couple of groups. The other lady is a lot older and I think whatever I say she struggles to say much, so I don’t push it. She now approaches me and asks but it’s taken a few weeks.
I can see how difficult it is to check out with people and there’s no completely right way and lots of wrong ways. I’ve also got a friend whose wife is dying and that’s also a difficult one, despite him knowing what I’ve been through. I’ve two friends in the walking group who are having a bad time, one is going through chemo and the other has a daughter who has CJD, she was given growth hormone as a child and her father has to live with his part in that. As they all know what I’ve been through they have been supportive in different ways, and I like to give that back, with interest. Each of them is a challenge in terms of how I open a conversation and it would be easier to look the other way, but I can’t.
I think it’s just a difficulty we have and we try to do the right thing. I doubt anyone wants to inflict pain. Sometimes I try to hide if I see someone that is likely to ask, even if I know they care.

Oh Sue my heart goes out to you to have lost your husband and sons is so cruel. We lost our son on the 29th December he was just 42. He was diagnosed with cancer 10 weeks before. We don’t feel we will ever be able to say we are ok again so I just can’t imagine how you must feel and I send you a virtual hug. Xxx

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