How are you doing?

It seems like an obvious polite question to ask, yet also so ridiculous at the same time.  The nurses at Sloan Kettering while treating my father in palliative care would ask and he’d tell them how much he hated the question.  His health was not improving, in fact it was rapidly deteriorating.  One doctor did not think he would survive 24 hours.  Other than that Mrs. Lincoln how was the play? 

Lots of people do not know what to say to me.  Some say nothing and many just ask how I am doing.  Well let’s see.  I lost my father.  I have no more parents left.  I’m depressed and feeling a bit flabby.  I’m irritable and yell at the kids more than I’d like.  


I’m tired of being told how strong I am. If my strength comes from losing my parents I’ll take meek and have my folks.  


I just returned from a wonderful family vacation in the Caribbean a perfect antidote for the blues.  And for six glorious days I did not cry.  I was am still mourning but was able to do so in a most luxurious way and for long stretches I was able to forget about my loss.  Upon returning to New York I listened to several kind voicemails asking how I was doing during this dreadful time and poof! I’m back to reality remembering this massive void in my life.  


I’ve been through this before so the process is familiar.  I know I will survive and the pain will cease to be this acute.  Time is a great cure and now I must endure this stage of the grief.  

But oh how I long to drown it out.  To drink and smoke.  To be debaucherous. To feel something exhilarating.  To be one day closer to a pain-free day.     


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