If one more person tells me how well I am doing after the death of my husband, and how strong I’ve been, I’m going to scream.
Because along with this wrongly perceived strength and well being, comes the comments that are for the strong woman, the “cold hard truths” and frankly, I don’t want to hear the “cold hard truth”. I’m living it every day so I have no need to have it pointed out to me, especially if I am having one of those extremely rare moments when I am not thinking about it. A friend once said to me, “Well, the cold hard truth is he is gone, and you don’t have to worry about what he has to say about it.” I wanted to say, "Thank you for making me feel more crappy than I already do."
I’m not doing well. But when people ask me how I am doing, they expect to hear something like “I’m doing well”, or, at the very least “I’m doing OK...hanging in there”. Both of these answers must be accompanied by a smile, lest they think there is something seriously wrong with me. What I really want to tell them is that my world feels like it is falling apart at the seams and there are actually times where I want to throw myself in front of a moving bus. I would love to say to someone when asked how I am, “Well, I feel like crap. I walk around like there is a black cloud over my head, and even when I am laughing, I am crying inside. I’m almost positive that I’ll never be genuinely happy again and that I’ve been sentenced to a long life of loneliness without my soulmate, but I’m muddling through life with this fake smile plastered on my face because I have two kids that I love and I owe it to them to give them a good life, considering they no longer have a father.”
Society has this I-Am-Woman-Hear-Me-Roar ideal that after any kind of tragedy, a woman is supposed to bounce back almost immediately or she is seen as weak, co-dependent and an embarrassment to the female species. According to that ideal, what I’m really “supposed” to do is put all his pictures away, get a makeover, sign up on eHarmony and tell everyone that I am doing well. HA! Never going to happen my friends. And now you know the truth, so you can stop asking me that ridiculous question, and expecting that even more ridiculous answer.