“How are you doing?” is one of the questions I’m asked a lot right now. Another question of equal or greater frequency is “How is Kent doing?”
Depending on the person asking the question or the day the question is asked, my answer may vary.
Some days I’m not doing great.
Everything is overwhelming. EVERYTHING.
Other days, I feel like we’ve got things surprisingly under control.
Some days I’m angry.
Some days I’m sad.
Some days I’m tired.
Some days I am just meh.
Some days I feel great.
My emotions are obviously tied to my grief and empathy for my family’s grief. But my emotions are also tied to a lot of other things. My emotions are tied to health concerns for someone close to me. My emotions are tied to all the hate, anger, angst, etc. on display in our world right now. My emotions are tied to eating foods that are good for me and exercising.
I’m so grateful for the many kind people who have reached out to me and Kent in the last several weeks to simply ask, “How are you doing?”
Regardless of my reply, I appreciate the kind gesture of the solicitation.
“Thank you for asking!”
So, if you have a friend who is grieving (or depressed, or facing an illness, or just needs a little extra care), and you don’t know what to say or do, maybe you can start by asking, “How are you doing?” Let your friend take the lead by his/her response. If the response is “Fine.” It’s an indication that the person probably doesn’t want to talk right now…but don’t stop asking. Checking in with someone demonstrates that you care about them, and may be more important and meaningful than you realize.