Casual Conversation

My church has recently opened itself up to in person service. During the pandemic, they used zoom and FaceBook live for services.

I have missed going to church and seeing my church family. And the last couple weeks have been a blessing both spiritually and personally. I’m a social extrovert by nature. I love being around people. I flourish in social settings.

The last few weeks, parishioners have expressed their condolences for my loss and tell me how much they miss my partner. Although they have sent cards and letters, letting me know in person that they’ve been thinking about me has been conversation. One friend said “I don’t see you two as separate, I see you as one person”. She meant it as a compliment, but it made me ache. He and I both were involved in many church activities.

When they ask how I’m doing, I reply “I’m hanging in there, taking it one day at a time”. What I want to say, but I don’t is that “I’m broken. I ache. I miss him so much that some days it’s unbearable”. I want to say “I wish I could scream out loud without someone thinking I am crazy”. But I don’t think most people, in a casual conversation want to hear this. When they ask “how are you doing”, do they really want an itemized list, or just the expected “I’m fine, how are you”.

6 Responses to “Casual Conversation”

  1. Sixpence Notthewiser Says:



  2. Matt Says:

    Hang in there, JM. When my mom passed, I realized some people are not really good at giving condolences. I am glad you are back with your church family and take good care of yourself.

  3. Old Lurker Says:

    I hate that bit of “how are you doing” small talk too.

    I also have been wishing I could scream out loud, although for different reasons. I am not eager to be confronted by the police again, so I try to keep my mouth shut.

  4. Jeffrey Says:

    The ache is real. Scream out loud when you can. Sob. I sure did when my husband passed suddenly three years ago.

    Martin Prechtel said something like this in his book “The Smell of Rain on Dust”: the sound of our grief powers his boat, his “curach” to the shore of stars where the ancestors are waiting to receive him.

    After I read that, I didn’t hold back. I wanted him to have the best, easiest journey I could provide for him. Hard, yes. Impossibly hard some days. And good for both of us.

    Loss hits everyone differently. I was surprised and perplexed by the people who showed up to help out of nowhere — they were the ones I would never suspect would help. Equally surprised by those who didn’t. It just is.

  5. David R Snyder Says:

    sometimes it’s quite difficult to distinguish between social niceties and sincerity.

  6. Urspo Says:

    Most folks want to say something/anything but are fearful what to say or what they will say will be inane. I like David’s thought on the matter.

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