“How are you doing? How’s Nancy?” That’s what we’re hearing these days. With three family deaths in a month – a sister-in-law, and an uncle, and a dad (for Nancy) – there has been much loss, and much grief (which is, simply, our response to loss.)

And the response often is, “Okay” or “As well as expected.”

IMG_4360.jpgI know why we say that. And why you do, too. But while I was mowing the yard and writing this post in my head, I started to think about changing the response.

We say it, of course, because we don’t want to start a counseling session. Or any kind of session. We’re afraid that we’ll break down, or that the other person doesn’t really care. We say it because we don’t want to take the time to assess what’s happening in our hearts and minds and bodies and souls.

But for a moment, imagine if we answered this way:

“Thanks for asking. Out of every hundred thoughts, we’re about 43% sad and about 24% surprised by the random reminders of this or that conversation. Out of every hundred minutes, we’re 27% more tired than we would expect to be. We’ve got about 12% regret, and about 12% relief. Those two circles overlap about 30%. Out of every hundred opportunities to pray, we’re taking about 45% and most of those are saying ‘help’. Out of every hundred opportunities to stop and rest, we’re taking about 25%. The rest of the time we keep moving. Out of every hundred opportunities to eat in a healthy way, 57% of the time we’re taking the donut (or wishing we could).”

At first, people would be as confused as you are about percentages not adding up. But then they’d realize that when we are grieving the percentages simply don’t add up.

We are, by the way, doing well. 73% of the time.

And it’s good to be back. We’ll be talking Elijah tomorrow.

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