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Faking It


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I've just completed a 2-day training course. It was an intensive two days learning the software package, InDesign. It was a bit of a drive from my house, which was a challenge being that we're in the middle of a rather major storm (So Cal standards anyway). That's beside the point though.

I was just emailing a friend telling her how it felt really good to be "out there." To be in the business environment for a couple days. To be learning something I'm interested in. To be engaged in conversation with different people about different topics. The class was made up of 5 women of similar ages. I don't know why it was all women, but we all had lunch together and generally "bonded" for the two days. We exchanged emails and plan to "network." Three of us were in the midst of a career path shift. It was an easy atmosphere. People shared about their families, boyfriends, etc. Even while engaging in conversaion about everyone else's lives, I managed to not mention the details of my own. I never mentioned Bill (although my wedding ring affirms my being married), and therefore never had to address "widowhood" or recent loss, and get those reactions. (Normally I would always talk about Bill, Mrs. Dickens (doggie), etc.) I had pretty much decided that if asked, I would talk of Bill as if he were still here -- in the present tense. The instructor of the course was English and spoke of England and of the type of "English" things I would typically enjoy talking about. I never engaged in those conversations personally, because the obvious question about my link to England would arise. But I felt in a good mood both days. I was happy to be there. I felt "normal." But it occurred to me as I was driving home that I was "faking" something -- even to myself. I was even thinking of showing Bill all that I'd learned. I think my faking it those two days made that feeling even more intense.

Over six months and when around new people, I'll do all sorts of conversational dances to avoid the truth. It left me wondering what that meant about where I really am in my grief process. Anyone relate?

Oh yeah, and it's our wedding anniversary tomorrow (Jan 26th)...

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Teri, I don't think you were faking it at all. You were in a new environment with people you had just met. There is no obligation to discuss the details of your personal life with people whom you have just met, unless you choose to, and in this case you chose not to. If the bonding continues and you get to know these folks better and become more comfortable with them you can then chose the time and place to discuss Bill and where you are right now. Either way, I see it as a choice, not faking it.

Kudos on taking the course and branching out to carve your own path. That takes strength and courage, which you have demonstrated in abundance over these last months.

May tomorrow go kindly and peacefully for you.

God Bless


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Hi Teri--

Good for you for trying something new. The class sounds really interesting.

I don't know if what I'm doing is "faking it"--but I have noticed that I avoid certain topics in conversation lately. Things that make me feel really sad about my dad...And I often talk about my dad in the present tense...and talk about "my parents" (notice the plural...)...This is all very strange for me because I've always prided myself on being very open about everything--and willing to talk about anything going on in my life...and being honest with myself.

But I'm not sure if that's "faking it" or denial or self-protection...but whatever it is, it's making it possible to get by right now...so perhaps the best thing is not to judge right now, and just to observe...

As I've read your posts, I'm always so struck by your courage, your honesty with yourself, and your self-awareness. So, whatever you're doing right now, it must be okay.

Just my thoughts.



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I think this point might be important to clarify. I don't mean "faking" my feelings, or "faking" that things are ok. I mean "faking" my life. And of course, people you just meet don't need to know the intimate details of your life, and probably don't even want to.

In a way I was pretending to myself that everything was normal again. That home was "home" again. That I was at a training center, and Bill was at home. And for anyone sitting with me (i.e., a woman wearing a wedding ring, using the term "us" or "we"), they would assume the same. It was easy to do that in an unfamiliar environment. I almost convinced myself on a certain level. I think that was the part that disturbed me.

It's hard to explain...

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I don't know if you were "faking it" or simply coping. Either way, I think you do the best you can and I don't think there is anything fake about that.

On another note--I do a lot of my work in InDesign. Welcome to the club! I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.


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I understand, after you posted the second time. Ha! I thought I was the only one who can go into pretend mode with my life. It's almost a delusional world where we want "normal" back again, even the old "new normal". This isn't going away any time soon, is it?



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I would use the word reticent

or reluctant for myself.

I think we get to a point we

want to keep to ourselves some

part of the previous life we had

in case we could get it back or

that what happened was just a bad


Like living in two worlds the yesterday

and the today and we still have a choice

of the one we want to be living in,

delusion must be a part of grieving.


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Teri, Hope you enjoy your new work and knowledge.

Consider your feelings an experiment and see where it goes.

For me there will be new things in life but it will never be normal just like it was so it's just different. Take from the good and make it grow.

When I'm one-on-one or a group I don't bring up the conversation about me but people like to talk about their own lifes; they like to talk about themselves. Eventually all eyes will be on you and just tell your story.

At home in private is a different thing. I guess because of the things set in motion I carry them in motion. I talk to her and talk of what I'm doing and where I'm going, and when I'll be back. Well why not, her spirit is still with me and Spirits need conversation too and you have to talk in order for them to hear you. This is the new normal.


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Teri I have no idea how you're feeling but my heart goes out to you. Losing your soul mate is beyond my imagination so no words of wisdom from me.

I've kept up with your posts and greatly admire the way you have handled each situation as it arises. This current one does not seem like faking it to me, it just seems that some things are only shared with people that have your trust and confidence and these new friends had yet to reach that status.

If I were one of that group I would not be offended that you didn't share your marital status with me, as a new aquaintence it's really none of my business. Once a relationship is developing all sorts of personal things are shared and I would have assumed that it was all too new and too raw for you to talk about to people who, the day before, were absolute strangers.

Your strength and dignity are very evident in the way you handled this situation, your new friends will be very honored if they become a part of your life.


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