Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What to say?

When people ask, "How are you doing?" I cannot always discern  if they are saying, "How are you doing today?" or if they are saying "How are you doing with...well, you're daughter's death?"

Ah, the beauty of the english language!

I can, though, answer both those questions in one statement that has become a bit of a mantra for me.  My answer is, "I'm more good than bad."
And that is the truth.  My days are mostly good.  My emotional state is mostly strong.  My workload is mostly manageable. etc...  Yes, I walk by pictures of Annie and stare in disbelief at what has happened.  Yes, I struggle to tell people I have 3 children when the truth is I have 2 children alive in my household.  But still, "I'm more good than bad."

The picture above is a group of people Sarah and I spend a weekend with not long ago.  In the lower left are the leaders of the retreat we attended, David & Nancy Guthrie.  (See my little head floating in the back row?)  They designed a weekend for parents who have lost children.  It's called Respite.  Although surrounded by stories of grief we found it refreshing to be in a setting where there was 1 thing in common---the death of a child (or children for some couples).  It was awful to hear their stories and to share ours.  But at the same time it was refreshing because the "How are you doing?" question was immediately understood.

"How are you doing?"
You may hear me asking you that the next time I see you.  Feel free to answer it as it pertains to your day.  But also feel free to answer it as it relates to some deeper aspect of your life.  And I will do my best to listen.
Thanks for listening to me.

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