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Cut out of my best friends Celebration of Life


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My best friend of 42 years died over a year ago after a short battle (13 months) with pancreatic cancer.  It has been an imaginable loss. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her and miss her deeply.  What has added to my grief and perhaps anger over losing my friend is the way I was alienated from her arrangements and now from keeping in touch with her spouse/family.  My friend did not want a formal funeral but expressed having a celebration of life at a later date (at the discretion of her family).  The family had a celebration of life almost 2 months after her passing. I was invited to attend and of course I did so but to my surprise I found out that two of her other friends were speaking and I was not asked.  I know one of those friends is also had been a lifelong friend and was asked to speak by the husband. The second friend who spoke was certainly not as close as I was or this other friend was. I was so hurt.  I didn't necessarily need to talk but I can't believe that I was not at least asked if I wanted to speak.  I don't even know who made this decision.  Was it my friend's wishes that she made before she passed (hard for me to believe this given the closeness of our friendship), her husband (who I have also known for 42 years), her other family members or did the friend who wasn't as close to her ask to speak?  I am not sure.  I keep asking myself was there something I did or said to either my friend or her family to warrant this.  I think the answer is no but now I keep questioning anything that I could have said or done that might have warranted this.  I didn't want to upset anyone by asking why I wasn't included and maybe part of me is afraid of that answer.  What if I did do something (unknowingly) that upset my friend or her family during the last year of her life?  I don't know if I can deal with that knowing that my friend died before I had the chance to correct the situation or talk to her about it. Its gotten so bad that I now question the fact that I had always operated under the assumption that my friend and I were each other's best friend.  She had said this numerous times to me over the years and we both played significant roles in each others life (mutual maid of honors, at our children's birth etc.) but maybe something changed or maybe she considered these other two ladies who spoke at her funeral her best friends too, or even better friends.  I don't why this is bothering me so much.  I know I should just let it go and be happy that I had such a good friend in my life and think about the good memories but it isn't that easy.  I just can't seem to let this go.

On top of it her spouse has been rather distant with me since the funeral.  I have stopped by to visit with him and we had a few lunches together (at my asking) but he has never reached out to me since she passed. Once I invited him to a gathering to watch our college football team play but he said he couldn't attend because he was going to watch it on campus but I found out later he ended up staying home that night.  I wrote it off initially because it was soon after my friend's death and I thought maybe it was just hard for him to attend events like that without her. Yet, he has made an effort to keep in touch with the other two women who spoke at the funeral and calls them with some regularity.  I have reached out to her daughter several times and there doesn't seem to be any issue there.  I just don't know what is going on and it is eating away at me and my self esteem.

Has anyone else ever felt this way or had a similar experience?  Any suggestions on what I should do about this situation?


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On 11/22/2022 at 11:55 AM, LSlugger said:

[...] Any suggestions on what I should do about this situation?

Dear LSlugger, I am so sorry for your loss of your lifetime best friend. There isn't anything, in my experience, to be able to fill that void.

As to how the decisions were made for her memorial service, there really is only one way for you find out how it happened...but, it may not be the easiest way for you -- that is, you'll need to decide for yourself if you want to pursue it to find your own inner peace about it, or just fret about it further. (There isn't a different way, unfortunately for all concerned.)

Approach, with all of your love and empathy and compassion, her husband (whom you have also known for 42 years), and ask him if, when he feels ready and able, if will he mind very much or feel very hurt/anguished, to talk with you about why you were not asked to speak. It could be something as simple as he was (her family were) thinking about not traumatizing you any further (in a way, trying to 'protect' you), or it could be something quite more complicated. But you won't ever know (in this lifetime), unless you approach him, in the first place.

Wishing you all the best for positive outcomes.   Ronni

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