A friend of mine is grieving the sudden loss of his dad. He’s not okay, and everyone knows it, but as his friends, we still want to check in on him.
How do you know when you’re a welcome distraction vs. when you’re just more noise someone doesn’t need? You don’t — but you can ask. So I told him: “I hope you’re doing okay, but really, I hope you’re just doing. I’m happy to chat anytime if you want, but if you’re not ready, I’m happy to leave you alone too.”
Sometimes, it’s enough to let someone know you’re glad they’re coping any way whichever. You don’t have to pretend everything is fine so they can do the same. You can admit that it sucks, but at least you’re still both around, still friends, together waiting for the suck to end.
Most of the time, it’s great to be optimistic. But every now and then, the going gets so tough, reality will just have to do as it is. So while I do hope that you too are doing great, well, or okay, for today, I’ll be more than satisfied if you’re doing at all — and it truly is okay if the only thing you expect of yourself is the same.