There’s one common question that’s part of many our greetings that I admittedly have also used in error. It’s tagged on a hello asking about one’s health. “Hi, how are you doing?” I, like you, probably were taught it was polite to inquire about someone’s health.
Yet, most people don’t really want to know about your health and most of us usually don’t answer honestly and politely respond with a “Fine.” Yet, others might avoid answering the question by just repeating it back to the asker. Beware, there are those of us who will tell you like it is and we generally aren’t prepared/want that answer.
My Natureman used to shock my family with his answer of ” Great.” He truly felt blessed with his life – what he does, where he lives and how he felt physically and emotionally. Seriously, how many folks do you know would answer ‘great’?
Well, now his response might also take someone aback with his directness. He answers “I have cancer.” I suggested he might want to soften that a bit. He said it helps him to say it. Yep, it truly is ‘our’ reality. So asking someone who you know has a terminal illness/ has a loved one who does turns out to be a very loaded question.
There’s a possibility I could manage to say that today Natureman feels fine but knowing meds are coming in less than 2 weeks, we know he won’t feel so fine. Let me add being asked how I’m doing right now can bring a look of disbelief with no verbal response. Really, ask yourself how would you feel? Also this respondent may just end up in tears on certain days. Also pretty uncomfortable…
So I’ll tell you what I try to remember to do with my friends who have a terminal illness/it’s in their household, I try to remember to not ask how they are doing. I figure if they want to talk about health they will, but most likely they’d like to have a break not having to talk about it.
Just like it’s polite to wish people a Happy Holidays to be all inclusive let me wish you all “May you and yours be blessed to be in good health this holiday season…”