NaBloPoMo and How I'm Doing

It's NaBolPoMo.

Should I? Or shouldn't I?

I have a lot to say right now, which is a good argument for should. However, most of what I have to say is depressing, which is a pretty good argument for shouldn't.

It's not like I'm forcing anyone to read this though.

I figure I can start, and if it turns out to be too wearing on me, (another argument for shouldn't) then I'll just quit. If I don't start today, and then I decide I want to tomorrow, it'll be too late.

... So here goes...

Today I went to church for the first time since Dad died. I've been dreading it. Dealing with other people's feelings is incredibly... Overwhelming? Tiring? Hurtful? It's strange, because I know people only want to help, but hurtful really is a very accurate word. I'll tell you why.

I've already mentioned that Dad's death feels very unreal to me. Talking to other people about it makes it more real and more painful. That's the easy answer, but it's not the the only one, or even the main one.

I'd substitute painful for hurtful, but that would take away the implication that what people say hurts me, not just the fact that talking to them causes me to have to face what happened.

"How are you?" What a question. What a horrible and hurtful question. Yes, I know. They only ask because they care, but it just really is a terrible thing to ask someone not even a month after they've lost someone. Here's why.

Some people ask it casually. Just like they always do in casual conversations with people whose Dad didn't die a few weeks ago. They are expecting me to say "fine" like I always do. Which hurts.

That's the easy answer, but not the only one, or even the main one.

Other people ask it intentionally. They really want to know. They look deep into my deliberately blank eyes and ask me and then wait expectantly for me to tell burst into tears and tell them. Because they care. They really do. But seriously, what am I really going to say?

Am I really supposed to tell them that I cry every time I'm alone for longer than five minutes? That I'm so angry with God that we are not on speaking terms, and that just being at church where we prayed for Dad every Sunday is making me even angrier? That I can't sleep because as soon as I stop distracting myself I think of my Dad,
my awesome amazing Dad and his picture in the obituary section, and I feel sick and scared and torn to shreds so I end up staying up all night till I'm so exhausted I literally can't stay awake a second longer? Am I really supposed to say this during greeting time at church? Or in the parking lot in front of Walmart? Or in the hallway of Ben's school? Or even if you "just pop by" my house to see how I'm doing? Am I really supposed to bare my soul to everyone who asks?

How are you.

So do you know what I've been saying? I say, "Okay!" And I smile. And then they ask, "Really?" And I say with a blank look on my face, "Yup! I'm okay." And I change the subject or wander off and afterward, when I'm alone, I cry because I feel like I just spit on my dad's grave. I feel like by lying about how I'm doing, I'm betraying my dad's memory and what he was to me.

But really, what else am I supposed to say? I can't say the truth. Well, maybe I can, but I won't. I suppose I should just say what my mom says, which is "That's a really hard question for me to answer." I just worry that I would only be inviting more prodding. More questions that I don't want to answer just anywhere and with just anyone.

So the question is, what do you say to someone like me if you can't say, "How are you?" I've always wondered that. I've always struggled with what to say to people I've known who have lost someone close to them.

My best answer? Nothing really. The people who have comforted me the most haven't said much of anything. They say hi, and they touch my arm, or hug me, and they maybe tell me they love me and they're praying for me. A few of them have even been teary eyed, which is at times difficult for me if I'm trying to hold it together myself, but the most comforting people aren't expecting anything from me. They don't ask with words, or even with their eyes (you know the look I'm thinking of) for me to bare my soul. They aren't waiting for me to burst into tears and share all the details of my pain. They aren't expecting to make it better for me, or for me to make it better for them.

It's hard though. And I just have to accept that. This is hard. For all of us. Every day I think, "This wasn't supposed to happen." But it did. And it's so hard. I just want it to be easier, but maybe that's expecting too much at this point. Maybe if all the people around me did what I wanted and cut out all the drama, maybe I'd be upset because I'd feel like they didn't care? Maybe there really is no way to make this easier. I suppose that's a possibility.

So I need to just walk through this part as best I can, and keep reminding myself that people aren't hurting me on purpose. And soon they'll get all the questions out of their systems and I can go out in public a little easier. And maybe instead of "okay" I should just tell people I'd rather not talk about it. Because that was a mistake. Actually, now that I'm writing this I'm thinking that it wasn't the question that hurt me so much as my answer. So maybe I should substitute "hurtful" with "painful".

Done. Being in public is painful.

(Huh. Too bad it took a whole post for me to figure that out hey? I wouldn't have spoiled yet another batch of shrimp in Café World while I wrote, and you could have watched some TV, or played some Nintendo, or done the dishes, or gone to the store or whatever else you've been putting off while you read. Maybe you only skimmed though, so that's okay, and even if you didn't, reading is way faster than writing.)


  1. I'm glad I read it. Every word. I always am with your blog. I hope you do one a day. I should be so lucky as to be as good with putting my feelings into words as you are with yours.
    Maybe I'll take up the blogging thing again too. You've inspired me to give it a shot.

  2. Thanks for sharing that. And if I was there I would squeeze your arm...and then talk about the latest episode of Surivor. Cause it really is hard to know what to say.

    Oh...and I am so glad you are thinking of doing the NaBloPoMo...It's my daily happy place...depressing or not!! Write away!!

  3. I think you should. I hope you do. I read the whole thing, too. And didn't have anything better to do. I'm sorry if I've said anything to hurt you. I think I always feel like I should have words to say, and I don't have them. So I just give hugs and say I-love-you's. I hope that I've been able to comfort you.

    I love you. I won't stop saying it.

  4. Oh Becky. Writing is just such a great thing. And you do it so well. I wavered on the Nablopomo thing until the very end. Then I read your mom's post about to do it or not and decided I wanted to do it. While I'm not having any raw, unprocessed feelings to write about, I have been finding interesting subjects around the house as I work at getting things sorted out. I have also been playing with the different settings on the camera and taking pictures of various objects around here. I figure why's only 30 days.
    I think you should. Writing is like a food processor for feelings and thoughts. I think it will help you.
    It could also be another really great distraction.
    And personally, I think that instead of saying, "I'm okay" and then smiling, you should say, "I'm terrible, thanks for asking!" and THEN smile.

  5. Thank you for this blog post. My best friend lost her father last week. I am going to forward your blog address to her.

  6. awwww Becky - hugs to you:) I love your honesty, and your writing....take care my you soon :)

  7. I too read every word. I love how you write. Bless you Becky!!

  8. I think writing will be good for us all and this is your place so you can write whatever you want.

  9. Writing is therapeutic. And you write amazingly. I think this is the place to do it Becky. It's your blog and you can do what you want. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  10. Becky, I couldn't stop reading. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am praying for your Mom and her kids regularly.

  11. My three kids can just pee themselves and go hungry for a few minutes while I read your blog - I hang on every word because you write so well! I agree with your Mom...this is your place, write what you want and express everything, no matter what. I love you honey...


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