“How are you?” I get that question a lot. The thing is, even with all of my words to choose from, I don’t know how to express how I feel about my mother’s death. It’s a hobby of mine to try to search for the words—words that don’t exist to me, at least not in English—to stow away in a mental dictionary so maybe someday I can answer. It’s a defense mechanism, my psychologist says. I look for these foreign words to help me “start the conversation” with myself. I look for words I don’t know, can’t pronounce, will never use in an actual conversation because the words that I would actually use are too uncomfortable.