Are You OK?

What is it about our propensity to ask someone “are you ok?” when they’ve just had something bad happen to them?  You know what I mean.  Their parent just died and we call or write or text and ask “are you ok?”. Same when they’ve lost a job, get divorced, get a cancer diagnosis or break up with a love. 

“Are you ok?”

Am I ok?
What am I supposed to say in reply?
“Well, I haven’t killed myself! ”
“I’m depressed as hell but me and Ben and Jerry are having a threesome?”

Really, why is that what we say? Can’t we do better? It’s a preposterous question.

I do it myself and it’s so inadequate.

I know it’s an expression of concern, but how else can we express it that doesn’t sound so well, asinine?

Maybe just say “hey, been thinking about you, can I help?” Is that better?

I don’t really know. I just know I’m going to try to do better than “are you ok?” My friends deserve better.

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