U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Grief and Mourning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-18-2016, 12:05 PM
 
2,062 posts, read 1,325,490 times
Reputation: 2612

Advertisements

I don't know why death has a way of bringing out the deepest/slights guilt feeling associated with the deceased and magnifies it.

My friend recently died after battling with lung cancer for 2.5 years. We were really close in high school, especially 9 and 10th grade. As we got older, even at 11th grade, our path started to drift apart. We tried keeping in touch, I could have tried harder. But I went off to college while she got married and had baby by 19. I remember visiting her after her first born & feeling awkward talking about my life (college life). Slowly the visit stopped, communication ceased. We bumped into each other at big events (wedding, festival) and always promised to keep in touch/visit but it never happened.

Then 2 years ago, I was getting married and called her to invite because once up on a time she was my best friend. That's when I learned of her cancer but she was still looking for 2nd opinion. I freaked out and ran to visit. But she was doing ok & I calmed down & life went back to normal. During the last 2 years I made so many mental appointment with myself to visit her but it wasn't natural anymore. It wasn't same as me hanging out with the "girls" that seem to happen without planning, without force. More than a decade passed since high school & I just could not go back to close friend status: the one you can text message because your bored or visit just to hangout.

This weekend as I heard her condition deteriorating really fast, I made time for her but she was in death bed. She passed away yesterday & I kept wishing I was better friend to her, wishing I was there for her, wishing I had bit more time with her. But that's when I stopped myself and asked, had she lived another month or another 6 month, would our relationship be any different. Would we become best friend all over again? I doubt it, it didn't happen over the 2years warning phase. I made some effort and she made some effort but it is what it is. Life goes on, life moves on, people drift apart for no reason at all. Yet why do I feel guilty for not keeping in touch now that she is gone yet it didn't bother either of us enough to change things during last 10 years. Where is this guilt coming from?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-18-2016, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,125 posts, read 3,636,143 times
Reputation: 13519
First, I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. (hugs) She meant enough to you once upon a time that you mourn her loss.

Friendships can go in many directions. Strong friendships can survive for years or can change with life events or just drift apart because of life itself.

It sounds like you and your friend had a mutual happening of two people that slowly went from best friends to occasional friends to once in a while friends.

You answered your own question: Where is this guilt coming from?
She is gone and you wish you'd both made more effort at maintaining your friendship. If it had been the other way around, she would most likely be suffering the same guilt, but it is what it is. Life goes on and things change.

Don't beat yourself up over your loss. Be glad you had her as a best friend once upon a time. Some people say that they have never had a best friend so you are fortunate. Remember and cherish your fun times with her.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-18-2016, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,845 posts, read 51,301,408 times
Reputation: 27668
"But that's when I stopped myself and asked, had she lived another month or another 6 month, would our relationship be any different. Would we become best friend all over again? I doubt it, it didn't happen over the 2years warning phase. I made some effort and she made some effort but it is what it is. Life goes on, life moves on, people drift apart for no reason at all. Yet why do I feel guilty for not keeping in touch now that she is gone yet it didn't bother either of us enough to change things during last 10 years. Where is this guilt coming from?"

That is a very astute observation. In a way, it may be coming from your fear of your own death. Break it out, as you have brilliantly done, and it comes down to:
Regret for paths not followed
The finality of death - as in "There is no chance now to make it different."
The recognition of friendship having the possibility of dissolving
The fear that it could happen to you as well

The "guilt" may come from your holding certain values, such as "friend forever" and finding that you haven't matched what you held as a value. The guilt might come from your confusing the constant movement within life of relationships to death and absolute values. The guilt might come from your recognition that had the roles been reversed, your old friend might have acted differently or "better" (for whatever that means).

Ultimately, you showed up. Ultimately, you both shared in the relationship. Ultimately, beating yourself up is not helpful. Learn whatever lesson you feel it presents and move on.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-19-2016, 11:46 AM
 
7,080 posts, read 3,780,855 times
Reputation: 10569
That it does! Because there's nothing more we can do about our failings, and we ALL fall short.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-20-2016, 07:31 PM
 
2,062 posts, read 1,325,490 times
Reputation: 2612
Thanks for the feedback, it did make me feel bad and time does heal all. I am sure i will still have moment when i will burst out crying while driving or doing something solo & guess guilt is just part of life.

One thing is true, I always thought of "keeping in touch" as my responsibility because I was single and always running after friends event. I never thought "keeping in touch" is 2 way street & I always regretting failing on her. Only recently as I was reflecting on her life and our relationship did it occur to me that, it wasn't just me that failed. it was mutual drifting apart
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-20-2016, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,539 posts, read 3,006,146 times
Reputation: 9423
I had a friend whom I considered a best friend. We were close but I was stricken to hear she was in the hospital with deteriorating issues.

I'd admonished her for years about her lifestyle; drinking after work & not eating. I knew she was going to go sooner than she should but still grieved when she died. Sometimes there is nothing you can do.

I'd finally given up & when she died there was guilt, but there was nothing more I could do.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-24-2016, 04:48 PM
 
8,218 posts, read 8,498,682 times
Reputation: 10183
The guilt is because even though you two obviously were no longer going to be close friends, on one level you understand that when someone was dying, you owed them a little extra kindness, but you didn't follow through.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-25-2016, 05:08 AM
 
Location: In the house we finally own!
369 posts, read 176,897 times
Reputation: 1503
I am so sorry you lost your friend! Please be kind to yourself. Friends drift apart, kids grow up and move away, life goes on and things change. Just because you don't see someone as often as you would like, or contact them as much doesn't mean they are not still in your heart, or that the caring between you has ended. I am sure she knew you always cared about her, just as she always cared about you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-25-2016, 05:23 AM
 
9,343 posts, read 8,735,784 times
Reputation: 14370
Losing a loved one is very difficult, and as it's been said, "We may never get over it, but we will get through it."

Best to recall fond memories instead of adding more grief by choosing to admonish oneself over something that can't be changed.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-25-2016, 02:36 PM
Status: " ." (set 1 day ago)
 
548 posts, read 803,033 times
Reputation: 549
We all have felt the regret of being unable to change the way some things go. People know somehow that your friendship was there. Be kind to yourself.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Grief and Mourning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top