I know that people mean well when they ask me if I am ok, but I also know that when they ask that they don’t really want the real answer. It used to slightly annoy me when I would walk through the halls at work and people would ask how I was doing and expected nothing more than, “great, thanks, and you?” Now, however, it is a whole new level of annoyance.
Most everyone around me now knows that I have lost my son. Most everyone around me also knows how much that little baby meant to me – how he was my entire world – and how much it rips me apart to know that I will never see him alive again. So when I am asked the question, “how are you?” these days….it puts me into a little rage. Here is what I want to say:
“Actually, person who probably has never lost a child, I feel like death. I am a walking zombie who has completely lost her heart and soul. I feel guilty that I couldn’t save his life. I miss him and I want to be with him. Honestly, I feel like joining him in the grave. If the casket were big enough, I would get inside with him and seal it closed on top of us. Does that satisfy your questions?”
That, however, is not what people want to hear. They want me to say, “I am fine. Thank you for asking.” I am not going to say that though…because I am not fine and I will never be just fine. I might get to the point where I can rejoin that game of “I’m fine, thank you” but for now I have no interest in playing along because I just don’t give a damn about protecting feelings right now.
Is there anything I can do to help?
The next question that is difficult is, “is there anything I can do to help?” Now don’t get me wrong, I remember asking this myself when other people would experience loss around me. I remember the awkward moments when someone was breaking down and not having a clue as to what to say. I am not sure how to answer this question. Do people want me to ask them to make me food? Well that’s out, because I can’t eat anything. Do they want me to ask them to dance or something? I am at a complete loss. Here is what I want to say:
“Well, person who has never lost a child, how powerful are you? Do you have the power to reverse time? Can you wake the dead? If the answer is yes, then you can absolutely do something to help me – bring back my son. If the answer is no, however, then please don’t ask me that again. If you want to make food to make you feel better then by all means cook. It isn’t going to help me, but if it makes you happy then maybe it will be nice.”
This all might sound incredibly insensitive, but I don’t care. The love of my life and my reason for waking up each day is gone. He isn’t going to come back no matter how much I pray and no matter how much people cook.