What do you say when people ask how you are?

It’s exactly 9 weeks since my partner of 10 years, Dave, died and I am struggling in so many ways. When people look sympathetically at me and ask me how I am or how am I doing I tend to say ok. But of course I’m not. I’m far from ok. But I feel as if people wouldn’t be able to cope if I told the truth. Even some of my closest friends don’t really know what to say now. It’s like the elephant in the room. They ask how I am, I say that I’m ok and that enables them to carry on and talk to me about general things. None of my friends or work colleagues have lost a partner and none of them truly understand. So what do you say when you are asked how you are?

1 Like

I just say that I don’t know how I am. That is pretty much the truth as it varies so much.

2 Likes

Hi Linda I just say I’m ok as I’m going to be! That’s the truth really. I’m never going to be ok again, I’m heartbroken but life goes on and we’ve been forced into this so that’s as ok as I’m going to be. I hate it like you all and certainly didn’t ask for it or want it. Unless you’ve been through this you have no idea what it’s like. People feel they have to say something. I’m honest with my close friends and family they know how I feel. Take care and a big hug.xx

Hi
I tell them the truth but to be honest it’s a broken record and I’m sure in fact I can tell they are sick of hearing it I need to stop but it’s difficult I don’t know what to do for best I’ve no family other than my children maybe I should just disappear and no longer communicate who knows …hey ho

2 Likes

I know what you mean YorkshireLad, I don’t know how to be. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before and nothing can prepare you for it. And yes Kay, I’ve started to say something similar to you and say that I’m as ok as I can be which is the truth but actually isn’t very ok at all, in fact nowhere near.
David, I haven’t been in this sit a huge amount but I do know that there are lots of people in various stages of grief who would understand how you feel and wouldn’t mind if you kept saying the same thing.
Thanks to you all for responding. Xxx

It’s not ok at all is it? It’s a new ok that we don’t want but have to learn to cope with. It’s not a life it’s an existence at the moment. Big hug to you. X

2 Likes

Hi Wiltshiregirl I totally agree my Deb has been gone 5 months and at first it was "so sorry anything I can do to help " when there is nothing they can do
I have found as time has passed your friends or colleagues who have not heard just shake your hand and say sorry to hear what has happened without all the gushy stuff.
Mind you I am in complete turmoil still shouting at her and thinking I could have done something more and crying my bloody eyes out!

Hi I’m so sorry for your loss. There are no easy answers or anything in this situation is there? People don’t know what to say to us and I feel that as time goes on most people think we should be over it !! Unless you’ve been through this I really don’t think you have any idea what it’s like. Do what you need to do, what ever gets you through a day. There’s no right or wrong. Take care. Kay. X

Hi

I say “I’m plodding on”. It is truthful as I am functioning but I don’t want to brush it off as “ok” otherwise they have the excuse to forget or not ask again.

The other answer I use is “rubbish” with a smile which also sums it up. We have all been through enough to start worrying about if others feel awquard. If we were a bit less British about death, maybe we would be allowed to grieve more naturally as they do in other countries and not bottle it all up.

Sending a non British style hug to you all

Ann xx

Is there a correct response? Who knows! I know I’m not ok by a long shot but I do feel as if some people think you should be !! There is no right or wrong and no answer that really explains how we feel. Take care and a proper hug to you. Kay.

It’s the worst question. I wish people wouldn’t ask it. I often feel angry with them - how do they think we are? We’re coping as well as we can. In fact I wrote a poem about that very question - I’d like to share it with you:
Please don’t ask me how I am, just say Hi…
Have a chat and walk on by
Because I’ll just say I’m fine but really I’m not.
My entire world has all gone to pot.
Do people really want to hear
Of all that I’ve lost and all that I fear?
Do people really want to know
That my heart is in turmoil and full of woe.
To the outside world I appear quite sane
But inside my whole being is crying in pain.
The man I love is here no more
And oh, how my heart is aching and sore.
Please don’t ask if I’m ok,
Of course I’m not but I’m too polite to say.
I’ve lost my husband for goodness sake,
The smile on my face is oh so fake.
But people don’t want to hear me grumble,
So I think “I can do this” but then I crumble.
Damn it! Tears begin to flow once more,
My whole being aches to the very core.
I can’t explain how I feel.
Is this my life? Is this for real?
How can I ever move forward from this?
When I long for my man’s tender touch and kiss.
“I want him back!” I scream and shout.
“What the hell is this all about?”
Why, oh why did he have to die?
I can’t understand even though I try.
Should I be grateful for having had such love?
Should I be thanking the Lord up above?
The stronger the love, the stronger the grief
And it brings into question my Christian belief
Why God, why did you take my man?
Is it simply because you can?
Oh, it hurts so bad.
I’m so very, very sad.
My heart is broken never to recover,
How can it ever, without my lover?
So don’t put me in a position to lie,
Please, don’t ask me how I am, just say Hi…

Much love everyone xx

1 Like

It’s the worst question. I wish people wouldn’t ask it. I often feel angry with them - how do they think we are? We’re coping as well as we can. In fact I wrote a poem about that very question - I’d like to share it with you:
Please don’t ask me how I am, just say Hi…
Have a chat and walk on by
Because I’ll just say I’m fine but really I’m not.
My entire world has all gone to pot.
Do people really want to hear
Of all that I’ve lost and all that I fear?
Do people really want to know
That my heart is in turmoil and full of woe.
To the outside world I appear quite sane
But inside my whole being is crying in pain.
The man I love is here no more
And oh, how my heart is aching and sore.
Please don’t ask if I’m ok,
Of course I’m not but I’m too polite to say.
I’ve lost my husband for goodness sake,
The smile on my face is oh so fake.
But people don’t want to hear me grumble,
So I think “I can do this” but then I crumble.
Damn it! Tears begin to flow once more,
My whole being aches to the very core.
I can’t explain how I feel.
Is this my life? Is this for real?
How can I ever move forward from this?
When I long for my man’s tender touch and kiss.
“I want him back!” I scream and shout.
“What the hell is this all about?”
Why, oh why did he have to die?
I can’t understand even though I try.
Should I be grateful for having had such love?
Should I be thanking the Lord up above?
The stronger the love, the stronger the grief
And it brings into question my Christian belief
Why God, why did you take my man?
Is it simply because you can?
Oh, it hurts so bad.
I’m so very, very sad.
My heart is broken never to recover,
How can it ever, without my lover?
So don’t put me in a position to lie,
Please, don’t ask me how I am, just say Hi…

Much love everyone xx

2 Likes

That’s amazing and says it all . Big hugs and take care. Kay. Xx

Hi
Your poem is fantastic
I’m in floods or tears reading it but that’s ok it’s the same everyday.
Thank you

William

I’m glad you like it William and yes it’s ok to cry. Much love to you xx

I was married for 37 years my wife passed on 10 months ago and I have been looking for the same answer you want to hear the truth is there is no right or wrong answer from Friends who have not been through this trauma the closet I have heard is the following all though you don’t want to hear this but I have thought about this and it’s the closest I am going to hear
There is good news and bad news
The bad news is there will always be a part of you missing
The good news they can never take away your wonderful memories

Hi Crazy Kate

Just wanted to say how much I liked your poem. It really summed up the way most of us feel.

Yvonne

Oh Kate, I cried as I read your amazing poem. It’s exactly how I feel and describes my emotions so well. Thank you. Xxx

Such wise words George. There is a part of me that is definitely missing but I also feel lucky to have so many wonderful memories to treasure.

I am so pleased you like it Linda. I don’t very often share my poems but I felt this was a time. I’ve always enjoyed poetry, writing and reading and I find it a source of comfort. I haven’t been able to write any since losing my husband, writers block I suppose, but I wrote this a couple of weeks ago. It’s a good way of expressing ones feelings. Big hugs xx

Back to top