"I'm Okay."

by Jennifer


At first everyone asks if you’re okay. You realize that this is what they should be asking and that you yourself don’t know the answer to that question. So you say ‘”I think so.” They keep asking if you’re okay until they stop. As the days go by, they expect your hurt to fade away with the seasons, as it naturally seems like it should. Except it doesn’t. The hurt does not fade, as much as it evolves. It evolves into different, new types of hurt. From the bitter cocktail of anger, guilt, and grief; to the dull, numb throbbing of devastation; the sporadic appearances of the “what-ifs” and the “why-me’s”, until the hurt eventually becomes a constant buzzing noise in the background of your existence. Sometimes you become accustomed to the buzzing and forget why it’s there. Until you remember. And when you remember, it is the slice of a knife into your heart, as fresh as it was the day he slipped away. Sometimes you catch yourself having a fond memory of the past. But the fondness flickers to sorrow in an instant, when you realize that he’s gone. Sometimes you think about how he would have reacted to something, but the affectionate musing surprises you with how quickly it can transform to bitter heartache. “He would have been proud of you.” Yes, but he’s not here, is he. So people check up on you, all the while you have the buzzing noise, and you say “I’m okay”. But you’re not okay. You eventually realize that this is what people want to hear, and that telling them the truth would be uncomfortable. “I get physically sick when I realize that my Dad is dead.” That wouldn’t go over well. “My heart has a gaping hole in it and I will never be who I once was.” Awkward. “I’m afraid to acknowledge what happened because if I fall apart I will never be able to put myself together again.” So I’ll just stick with “I’m okay.” I’ll say it because that’s what you’re searching for and it might lessen the amount of time that you give me the same look that you would give a lost puppy stuck in a drain somewhere. I’m okay, really I’ll be fine down here, just keep walking and I’ll keep staring at the walls, trying to begin to find a way out.

Comments for "I'm Okay."

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Feb 13, 2014
Very well said, Jennifer..
by: Marlie

...completely resonates. I lost my father almost 2 months ago and I distract myself to avoid the pain. I put on a good front but am crumbling inside. Sometimes when I feel I am about to cry I force myself not to and try to be strong/stoic. I know it's not healthy but I am afraid to "feel" the intensity of the pain. It's too much right now for me to bear and as you so eloquently put it I fear I will fall apart. Your post really hit a chord and allowed me to cry and I thank you for that.


Jan 29, 2013
losing my daddy.
by: Anonymous

No Im not okay. People tell me Im lucky to have had him for 56 years, whoopie doo - is that supposed to make me feel better - I miss him so. He was such a huge part of my life. I miss the smell of him, I miss his silly sayings, I miss him worrying about me, I miss his habits, I miss his wisdom, I miss his old fashioned values, I miss, I miss, I miss, I miss..... my heart is splintered, my soul is crushed what to do....well as my dad used to say "see you in the madhouse".
jan xx

Jan 27, 2013
Thank you
by: DKay

Thank you for your post...I lost my Dad in October and your post truly sums up what I feel....I wish the best for you, but I also appreciate feeling like someone else understands...even when we don't know each other....

Jan 23, 2013
What exactly is "OK" anyhow ?
by: Michael

Hey...I do get it...and, yeah...you are correct in your beautiful and terrible description.

So...if nothing more, you know there are plenty of us experiencing this self same thing.

The excellent thing about that is:
it is PROOF POSITIVE that LOVE exists; if we hadn't loved, we would never be feeling these things...would we ?

We are the lucky ones then...to have loved at all...despite the hefty price.

One day at a time...my advice, for whatever it's worth. HOLD ON...we NEVER know what wondrous joy filled event is around the bend...maybe today...maybe tomorrow. It won't remove the sorrow of our losses...butt, perhaps we could do something SOMETHING to lessen someone elses pain before it's our turn to return to our Maker.

I'm NOT pushing "organized religion"...but DO stay connected to the GREAT ONE who has orchestrated ALL of this. There definitely is a plan...and YOU-YOU-YOU are a definite part of it.

Be blessed and know this is part of life...be strong...cry when you need to...carry on...that's all we can do and all we should do. Yeah.

Jan 22, 2013
I agree to say you are not okay
by: Velvet

I agree it's okay to say you aren't okay...I have been saying that lately. I lost my mom, my love and my everything in August 2012 after an agressive battle with brain cancer and I just can't shake that she isn't here anymore. I keep thinking she is on vacation and will walk through the door or will call me on the phone and say 'honey I'm home!' I keep looking at the slideshow that I prepared and looking at other pictures and sometimes I call her home number, thinking she will pick up. This grief is the deepest saddness I have felt for anything and I have to be brutally honest with my feelings when people ask if I am okay or if I want to socialize when I don't feel like it. You hate to be the killjoy of any function, but there is only so long that you can fake smile and nod when you just want to scream and hide your head under the pillow.

Jan 21, 2013
I'm not okay either
by: Anonymous

Thank you capturing so perfectly the pain of loss. I lost my daughter last February and have found it impossible to describe the pain. You did it perfectly. Bless you, I wish you some peace.

Jan 21, 2013
Just my thoughts....
by: Anonymous

It's been just over 3 months my dad passed away and your words said exactly how I feel!!!

Jan 21, 2013
I hear you
by: Diego

I hear you Jen...it’s been 7 months since the loss of my beloved brother and although I have made some progress (i.e. like going out with friends, working out in the gym and other activities) my life has become "bitter sweet" as I like to call it. I try to conjure myself every morning to do my best each day, to have the best positive attitude each day as I've realized I have no choice, I realized that "this is it", but some days it is just too hard, the pain is always there running in the background, I want it to stop, but it doesn't....but this is life I guess, as one of the lines in my favorite movie says "Get busy living, or get busy dying."

Jan 20, 2013
perfect
by: Amanda

Beautiful. Thank you.

Jan 20, 2013
"I'm Okay."
by: Doreen U.K.

Jennifer it quite O.K. to say so that you are not Okay, when someone asks you. It is more of a general question. People may care and not know what to say. My experience is that when I start to talk about why I am not okay, often people cannot accept the honesty of their question and so either change the question or utter the usual platitudes. Well never mind. Things will change soon. How do they know because I don't. I am sorry for your loss and also for the difficulty you find yourself in. Life hurts most of the time and Death hurts even more. If you are finding life hard to cope with due to your loss you may benefit from seeing a grief counsellor to support you in your pain. Often this is the best choice one can make for themselves. I hope that you will be supported in your grief and be able to heal from the sorrow you are left holding after the death of your dad. I am sorry for your loss.

Jan 19, 2013
on the mark
by: Veronica

You put my thoughts and feelings into bittersweet words. 395 days and it hasn't gotten any better, the tears still fall and my life feels so empty. I can't help but to think - what is the point of such a life?

Jan 19, 2013
"I'm okay"
by: silver

I know this is for your dad.Mine died in Dec 09.My mom followed in June 10.The love of my life for 33 yrs followed in May 11.The feelings described by you were the same for all of them. Like you said,"I'm not OK". It does get better.I don't cry as much,as hard,or as long at a time as I used to. This month is the first time I feel like going out into the world again.I don't know how you feel about wanting the people to stop asking but I don't tell them I'm fine anymore. I tell them I'm coping most of the time and, if I am having a bad day, I tell them that too.Almost all the people have quit calling anyway,including my siblings that live 3 states away.Once I even made myself sick-literally- with crying.I pray for you.I know how you feel. GOD bless you with courage and peace.I send you prayers of love.Read some of the poetry on this site.It helped me to know that others feel the way I do.Extra hugs to you.

Jan 19, 2013
What can I say
by: Jan`

What can I say to you to ease your pain, the answer to that is Nothing, my words of comfort or words of care and love from one human being to another, reach you but do they help you, maybe in the fact that you know you are being cared for and your in another persons mind and thoughts, if that is all that I can offer you then that is what I shall give you. I am going through that pain at this moment of time also and that is why I truly can say to you "I understand" take care of yourself and let other people help you if they offer, you will be in my prayers tonight. God Bless you xxx

Jan 19, 2013
Well said
by: Katie

Beautifully written and I couldn't agree more, it's 2 months since I lost my dad and I've noticed people have started expecting me to be ok, so I'm saying I'm fine while dying inside. I hope you find some time and space to allow yourself to be not ok x

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