I have been asked this question a lot. It is amazing how much variety of expression there can be in the same words. Some people ask how I’m doing and then seem to catch themselves. They just asked their “hello” question and then realized what they’ve said and to whom they have said it. Others ask slowly and carefully, looking for an honest answer. Others are very apologetic, but really want to know, so they supply phrases like, “I suppose you’re asked this all the time, but how are you doing?”
I think I can speak for my family when I say that we don’t mind these questions in their varied forms. However, speaking for myself, sometimes I do feel like responding, “How am I supposed to be feeling?” I won’t say that, and I don’t want to say it with an edge, but it is how I am “doing” sometimes.
Regarding the habitual, “How are you doing?” question, I still do it myself, so I certainly don’t blame others for asking me!
I can go through long stretches where I’m just rolling along with the “new normal,” and then something will come out of the blue to bring back the grief. How distracted should I be? Should I feel guilty for having a good night’s sleep? When should I get back to the regular routine of pastoral duties (whatever that is!)? I think all of us are just figuring out how we should be feeling.
For people that we don’t see regularly but read my blog, here are some point-form observations about how we are doing:
- We’re pretty much back to routine. I’ve been back in the office, homeschooling has been back on for a while and lessons and meetings are on the schedule again.
- Financially we are fine. All of our expenses are covered and then some. We are blessed and well-supplied by many gracious people.
- The kids seem to be doing alright. We’ll have to take care of each other and listen to each other more than ever to make sure that we’re all healthy. I know that as dad, I have an extra responsibility in this department.
- We’re been overwhelmed with cards, letters, emails, visits and phone calls. We are humbled by and grateful for these expressions of love.
- The pace of these responses has not been too heavy, but we can’t possibly respond with “thank you” to everyone.
- There is nothing to report on the investigation front. The RCMP have been excellent, however, and we are not getting frustrated with them. God is sovereign.
- We are realizing more all the time how rocked our community has been by Emily’s murder. I talked to a couple of people yesterday that could barely talk to me. This will take some time to process and heal.
- There have been community initiatives to raise money for a reward fund through Crimestoppers. There is also a community benefit concert scheduled for November 15th. The proceeds of this event will go towards a music scholarship in Emily’s name.
- There is still a large measure of unreality about all of this. Psychologically speaking, I think this is a protection, a defense mechanism.
- Another aspect to the unreality of Emily’s death is the fact that she is now more alive than ever. She has left the shadowlands and is now with Jesus in Paradise.
- God is carrying us still. We are reminded of that whenever we hear or read reports that people are praying for us. We appreciate that very much.
- Last point: We miss Emily very much.
Thanks to everyone who has come to visit my blog in the past weeks and for the many who have commented. Your encouragement is precious, as are your prayers.