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sadandlost

lost friendships after loss

5 posts in this topic

Dear all,

I wondered if anyone after their loss has gone through a shift or change in a friendship since their loss?  Or even a break up?  This is my story.

After my mother died.  I received kind emails from friends, acquaintances that were touching.  My best friend of over 30 yrs sent a text saying "I'm so sorry".  That was it.  No call, no thoughtful email just those 3 words.  Few days later another text, "how are you?"  few days later "hope you're ok".  10 days later "when's the funeral?"  Each time they were all 3 words?  2 weeks after my mother died it was my birthday.  I received a birthday card while on my way to the funeral.  It said, Happy Birthday love Linda.  That was it.  How could she send me a birthday card wishing me a happy birthday 2 weeks after my mother died?  No condolences or anything.  Still no phone call.  After this I began not responding to the 3 worded texts because it felt insulting, like she was doing the bare minimum and not engaged at all.  After I didn't respond to the next "are you ok??" texts, I received an angry text saying.  "I know its a difficult time but you're ignoring me and I am oblivious to what I've done, please enlighten me".  I was stunned.  My friend of 30 plus years is not insensitive.  In fact I deeply admired her as a kind thoughtful person thats been through tough times and got through it and is a good and decent person.  We spoke every week.  I was shocked by the demand to know approach.  So I wrote her an email telling her.  It was not horrible in anyway.   I said I had not known how to respond with her 3 worded texts or hope you're ok etc...Obviously I am not ok.  I've lost my mother.  I am devastated.  I mentioned the birthday card and if she thought I would be having a happy birthday 2 weeks after my mum died?  I said, you didn't appear worried or concerned that I wasn't replying only that I was ignoring you? and you were oblivious to what you've done.  I said, you haven't done anything.  I just would have expected you to be more thoughtful. 

That's all I said.  She took 12 days to reply and basically dumped me?  She wrote a short email like it was written by a lawyer that wasn't even the vocabulary she normally uses or the way she typically speaks.  I suspect that someone else dictated this to her.  "I accept I did not console you in the way you expected and for that I am regretful.  However from your email I accept our friendship is irrevocably changed forever.  Wish you all the best"

I was stunned.  In no way did I say our friendship was over.  She demanded to know why I wasn't responding to her texts, I told her.  She made no excuse or heartfelt apology?  So after loosing my mother, I lost my best friend too.  I couldn't even respond. I feel abandoned. 

Has anyone else gone through anything like this?

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Hi sadandlost,

First I would like to extend my condolences for the passing of your mother, I truly understand how painful that can be.

Secondly, the death has always been something we as humans can't fully rectify. Speaking of the true God, Ecclesiastes 3:11 mentions "he has even put eternity in their heart", meaning we were not made with the prospect of dying nor with the acceptance of it. That being said, it can be difficult for anyone to deal with the situation. You friend may have only been able to say little due to the fact that's all she could say. Truly, your pain may be felt by her, and she might not know how best to process it and help.

While I cannot give you advice, I will relay what an ancient proverb states: "There is a friend sticking closer than a brother." If that is truly how you feel about your friend, you can likely communicate such to her at an appropriate time. Such may help to heal matters. I hope this helps you.

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Dear sadandlost,

I'm very sorry to hear what happened with your friend Linda. I know this is a very difficult time. I, too, went through something similar. Sadly, I think this is very common reaction. I'm not sure if Linda has ever lost anyone close to her. If not, then maybe she doesn't realize or understand what it is you wanted from her. Its a sad thing to say, but sometimes people really don't know how to be thoughtful or sensitive. We now live in a age where everyone does everything through the computer and the thought of calling doesn't even occur to people.

I have to say I was guilty of this too. When colleagues or friends lost parents, I would send a card but I never followed up. Even a how are you? did not occur to me. I am ashamed. Since my dad's passing, I am even more hurt. One friend in particular didn't send me a card, didn't call, and is too busy traveling to care anymore. In our culture, you normally send a card with money in it. When her father passed away, I sent a card with what I thought was significant amount. And when her son graduated high school, I also gifted him with some money. I sort of wanted to let this friendship drop and I might still. It does hurt. I thought about telling her straight out what I thought, but sometimes I don't know if its worth the bother. I am already dealing with my own grief.

Please know you are not alone.  And we are all here to listen and support you. Thinking of you.

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Dear reader,

thank you for taking the time to reply.  I understand not everyone knows how to deal with loss.  I probably didn't before either.  The surprising thing for me is the people you think would be there are not.  My friend is a volunteer Samaritan.  You would think if anyone would be there it would be her.  Maya Angelou once said, people show you who they are, we just don't listen.  When I heard this about 15 yrs ago it stuck with me.  People surprise you.  I also have to face that where she had been my best friend, I may not have been that to her.  In fact it's looking likely I wasn't at all.  Or that she is so arrogant that she would rather loose me than have to genuinely apologize.  How can you forgive someone when they don't even apologize in a meaningful way and let you be stranded in grief?

I don't feel I can comment on your friend.  I know nothing.  It's difficult enough coping with exhausting grief, how is anyone supposed to cope with being abandoned by friends as well?  I hope you have someone else.  Sometimes it's unexpected kindness from others that can help.  I very much hope you find some gentle loving kindness from someone else. 

Warmest wishes

 

 

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Dear sadandlost,

We are all in the same boat it seems and share so many similarities in grief. I hear you. It is extremely painful to have a person you consider a true friend let you down in this way. My whole life, I find interacting with other women very difficult. I think Linda felt defensive when confronted about the hurt and pain caused. I'm sure she thought the texts were appropriate but in our hearts we needed more. And even long term friends don't know how to give more. Its a hard choice to make whether to forgive. And to be honest, I'm not very good at it. I tend to want to hang onto my anger, which I know is not healthy.

Luckily, I do have a good friend from high school that has been very supportive. And the people on this forum have been supportive as well. And even one colleague surprised me with their offer to chat about my loss.

During these difficult times it sure does magnify the pain when friends and family do not behave as we wish. Everything is easier said than done, but I would try to let it go. For myself, the pain of the loss is still raw and deep. People tell me it will get better with time, but there are still some days, I hate life. I really do. And yet, I tell myself try to be grateful for anything good. Baby steps for now.

Thank you for very much for your kind wishes. Take care of yourself.

 

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