This topic contains 24 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by ele4phant 1 week, 2 days ago.
January 3, 2019 at 5:51 pm #814229
I’m so sorry for your loss. With the “friend” – take her response as a clear signal this non-friendship is over. Just don’t reach out to her any more. Seems like she won’t be knocking down your door anytime soon. With the in-laws: cut them some slack. As anonymousse says, a lot of people will reach out to the spouse because they’re worried about invading your privacy at a tough time. Maybe just tell your husband you’d be open to a call from them and he can pass it on? Also, I bet a lot of people in your life ARE stepping up- focus on the ones supporting you right now and keep them close.January 3, 2019 at 5:56 pm #814231
I think there are very few people who don’t care if their friends support them in difficult times or acknowledge terrible news at all.
Apparently BGM is one of them, but I think they are very rare.January 3, 2019 at 5:57 pm #814232
I’d let the friendship fade away. Don’t bother reaching out and you probably won’t hear anything unless she needs something. It’s not worth your effort and if she does need something in the future tell her you’re sorry you’re too busy. Even if she was finding it hard to handle the thought of death it isn’t too hard to donate to whatever memorial there is. We’ve done it and the relatives appreciate the thought.
As far as the family members go I don’t think you can cut them out. I think you could expect your husband to do more of the hosting but they did at least reach out. I think there is often a fear that you will be intruding if you try to directly talk to the person who lost a relative. The sense that they are probably busy trying to arrange the funeral and that some people don’t want to talk to lots of people. Some people would rather be left alone to grieve. In my mind the fact that they reached out, even if it was to your husband, was them showing that they care.January 3, 2019 at 5:58 pm #814233
Oh for crying out loud, BGM. When someone close to you is sick or dies, you’re not using it as an opportunity to get mad at people. You’re grieving, and you’re hurt that someone you thought was a friend and would understand, had literally nothing to say. One of the stages of grief, too, is anger. A loss can be a roller coaster of emotions, including anger.January 3, 2019 at 7:03 pm #814247
LW, I am so sorry for your loss. I’m also sorry your long term friend has let you down. I would definitely fade from this friendship or at the very least take a large step back for a while. She had SIX weeks to respond with kindness and she didn’t.
Regarding your bil, i think that is more misplaced anger/grief. You’re not close, he lives abroad and he’s your husband’s brother, i think him sending a text was reasonable if a little impersonal.
When i was going through my own grief for a parent i found that people said a lot of the wrong things, not because they didn’t care but because even if they had lost a parent they still wouldn’t know MY grief. It’s ok to give yourself some compassion and space, just realize you’re looking at the world though a different lens right now.
January 4, 2019 at 9:12 am #814338
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by CurlyQue.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Grief is such a roller coaster — it illuminates things we previously didn’t see clearly, and can crystallize relationships in a way we that either brings comfort or stirs up resentment and even more loss. I think the best way to handle the lack of condolences from people you expected them from is to let it go. let the friendship fade, and maybe in the future when it’s time to express feelings of support to your BIL and SIL, let your brother navigate it. After all, it’s his brother and SIL, right?
I hope the support you are feeling from others helps make up for some of the neglect you feel elsewhere. Focus on that, and focus on the memories of the parent you’ve lost.January 4, 2019 at 10:14 am #814354
Been there. Been RIGHT there. The 1st anniversary of my stepdad’s death is this weekend. My bio-dad died about 15 years ago. It SUCKS and I’m sorry for your loss. The stupid cliched saying that stuck with me is that grief is like an invoice. You got years of love and care and good times and this is the payment. The amount of grief you experience is tied to how much love you received. But you likely won’t spend as much time grieving compared to the years of love.
Look, death is hard for people. Celebrating a birth – easy. Wooo! There’s a new small person in your house! They’re cute and squishy! Death is hard. People don’t know what do do. They should, but they don’t. They don’t want to deal with it, and then they feel they took too much time and now they can’t do anything without one admitting they were shitty and two possibly upsetting you again by bringing it up.
Was your friend shitty – hell yes. Should you give her another chance? Up to you. But you can, at a quiet time, say that you know everyone’s lives are busy, but you really felt let down when she didn’t reach out. Who cares if she feels guilty? She should. She let you down.
But I’ll be the first to say that for those who haven’t had loss, they have no idea. They really don’t. After my dad died I lost a friend who couldn’t understand why I just couldn’t “move on” after a few months. She was there during the funeral. She was a huge help, but she couldn’t understand why I couldn’t put it away after a few months.January 9, 2019 at 10:23 am #814969
Oh LW, my heart breaks for you. I’m so, so sorry for your loss and that your BIL/SIL and friend were not supportive towards you in the way you need. I’ve found in my own personal experience that devastating events like death show the true characters of the ones you hold dear. My uncle (a major father figure to me) was murdered by my cousin in 2015. During my time of grief, I reached out to people that I considered my close friends (that came to ME in their times of hardship!). Some moved heaven and earth to support me while others gave my radio silence only to ask for my Netflix password the following week or check on me months later asking if I’m okay. I promise that the grief will get easier to manage as time goes on and you will feel lighter from shedding the dead weight of fair weather friends. Hang in there!January 9, 2019 at 11:06 am #814975
I’m sorry for your loss, Esra.
It is sometimes difficult to know how to approach people who have experienced the death of someone they deeply loved. People approach mortality in such different ways and sometimes people get trapped trying to find the balm words or the “right” support actions and error on the side of less instead of more. Grief is an extraordinary life circumstance. As Lis noted, there is no clear roadmap that tell others which familiar lines they should cross to offer comfort to someone who is hurting.
I think it’s easy to forget that grief brings a need to share and feel seen. It’s easy to assume if someone who is suffering wants your comfort that they will call or seek you out.
Many people aren’t well-practiced in knowing how to reach out and connect with others.
I’m sorry for the loss of your father and also for sense of disappointment you feel in your time of need. I hope you take care.
I’m also sorry for the losses of the other commenters, too.January 9, 2019 at 11:21 am #814980
I am sorry for your loss. It hurts a lot to lose a parent. But I think you shouldn’t focus on the condolences your didn’t get. People are busy, some are very uncomfortable regarding death, some are simply not as close as you thought. The BIL and his wife did acknowledge your loss.
I suggest you focus on the people who did support you and let open the future. Don’t take any decision regarding these relationships now, under the duress of sorrow and anger (which is largely redirected from your sorrow, in my opinion). You will see later wether this friend still means something for you, let it be for while, don’t resent her. I find it strange and unhealthy to check her social medias to see wether she is active while she didn’t send her condolences, and to be mad at her because she praises her son’s accomplishments. Don’t do that.
BUt you don’t have to host your BIL: you can take a pass next time they come and say that you are still mourning and not in the mood to have guests. This is your very right and your husband shall understand that. Frankly, they can go to the hotel.January 13, 2019 at 2:23 pm #815574
Thanks, everyone, for your replies! I didn’t check this thread for a while because a previous message didn’t get posted and it said the conversation had been locked.
MP, I’m appalled re: the Netflix password
Brise: I am already implementing your advice – I’ve not cut out the friend or decided to cut her out but I am stepping back a bit. As for your saying I checked her social media – well, I didn’t really have to, it was in my face all the time, and isn’t that how you keep in touch with friends -the ones on social media- these days, checking to see if they’re active means they’re okay, they’re at least functioning. I hope you’ll appreciate that I called her because she was important to me and I wanted to find out why I hadn’t heard from her – it wasn’t as if I decided she was being callous simply on the strength of her presence in social media and her absence from my life!January 13, 2019 at 2:28 pm #815577
I’m not mad at her for praising her son’s achievements, whatever gave you that idea? My point was that she found the time for everything else, and didn’t get in touch for six weeks. The most basic thing she could have done was acknowledge my message.
As for focusing on the others, yes, I am grateful and very appreciative for the ones who did did reach out to me, and that includes some people whom I’d not expected to hear from.