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Old 09-26-2018, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,395 posts, read 15,716,476 times
Reputation: 38458

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My husband died nine and a half months ago. I have been trying to get together with several good friends that I have known for over 30 years which led to this thread.

For many years (recently) I used to go to lunch with one good friend about once a month and we spoke on the phone at least once a week (we used to work together and saw each other daily for decades). I suddenly realized that I had not seen her even one time since Hubby's funeral. Looking back I recall quite a few times that I called or emailed and she responded that "relatives were in town for the next two weeks and she would call after they leave and we can have lunch" or "I'll be in Arizona for month but I'll call when I get back" or "I have a bunch of doctor's appointments coming up but we will get together soon."

With another good friend I realized that I had left so many phone messages (about once every two or three weeks for several months) and she had not returned any of my calls that I emailed her and asked if she had changed her phone number. She immediately emailed back and said had the same number and that she had "busy".

Now, there were a group of friends that got together every few months since we retired several years ago. I suddenly realized that I had not heard about any of those get-togethers being scheduled since last fall (shortly before my husband died). Hmmm, did they still have the get-togethers but not invite me?

Now, I should point out that I have wonderful supportive relatives, and one or two other friends that have been great, plus I attend a weekly widow/widowers support group that has been amazing. But, I would never in a million years have suspected that some of my oldest and dearest friends would have ignored me like they seem to have ignored me after the death of my spouse. And, it isn't a "couples thing" as we have always socialized just as female friends not as couples. Some of the women are married, some are single/never married and some are divorced.

There really isn't a question in this thread, but I wanted everyone else who is grieving that "Yes, it does happen that friends disappear after a death." And, yes, it does make it even more lonely to be a widow. I hope that it doesn't happen to you like it happened to me.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,745 posts, read 50,929,001 times
Reputation: 27274
I'm sorry that happened, but it is common. There are many possible reasons that have little or nothing to do with you, and more to do with their own inner demons and fears. Many people have never come to grips with mortality and anything that reminds them of it, except in a sanitized or fantasy way, scares the bejesus out of them. People who are borderline depressive may find being in contact with someone grieving feeds into their own issues in an unhealthy way (Some are very good at hiding depression in public). Close friends, if you are at all ill, may fear becoming a designated caretaker, even if the reality of that possibility isn't there.

There are a number of other reasons that have to do with personal flaws, such as lack of empathy, social climbing, a sense that you can no longer contribute financially, desire for only light or shallow connections (that may have existed for years but is only now put to the test). Women who have married a powerful man or famous actor may find an exodus of potential parasites and leeches upon his death.

All of us are flawed. Often the flaws of others can be hurtful to us, especially if we are already hurting. About the best we can do is pick ourselves up, dust off the failures, learn what we can and move on.
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:58 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,196 posts, read 17,989,483 times
Reputation: 18541
I am very sorry this has happened to you too, germaine. Yep, I learned the hard way also. It is a real bummer.
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
15,747 posts, read 3,257,056 times
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Germaine, sorry about this.

It must feel very hurtful. We can't rely on others most of the time...they don't respond in the way we'd like and feel we need...then we get more dejected.

Seems they should call you but have you tried calling them, setting up coffee meeting, or a movie?
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,395 posts, read 15,716,476 times
Reputation: 38458
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
Germaine, sorry about this.

It must feel very hurtful. We can't rely on others most of the time...they don't respond in the way we'd like and feel we need...then we get more dejected.

Seems they should call you but have you tried calling them, setting up coffee meeting, or a movie?
My two closest friends I have called or emailed once every two or three weeks or four weeks for months (it is not like I have been bugging them every day or even few days). Both have been friends for over 30 years. These are people who I had lunch with at least once a month for years, and talked to on the phone several times a month (if not more often).

It is so hard to keep contacting people that I though were good friends and to be constantly rebuffed. It certainly does not make me feel good.
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:32 PM
 
14 posts, read 3,880 times
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I had dropped out of my groups a couple of years ago when my son was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. Then after he passed away last October, I needed lots of alone time to grieve and heal.

I knew it would be awkward for my friends when I re- joined the meetings and gatherings. I think people are afraid they might say something to upset you, or that you will start crying. Yet they don't want to ignore what has happened either. They are not sure if they can be their normal happy selves or if they should behave like they are at a funeral home.
Maybe they just take the easy way out and avoid contact.

On the days I went back to the groups, I made sure to think of a subject to discuss or a question for each member...to ease them into a conversation with me and let them see that I am stable and ready to join in everyday conversation.

I know, it's strange that the grieving person has to be the one to ease the situation...but it seems to be so.
People fear death and so many have no idea how to comfort someone after a loss.

Would you believe my own parents didn't call me after my son passed away? The night he died I had called my brother, who still lives at home with them, and asked him to break the news to them.
No communication from them until a week later, the day before the memorial service...I finally called them to see if they were even coming (they did). But why so weird and awkward?

Forgive your friends. Call them and say you would love to catch up and hear what's been happening in their lives. Tell them you are ready for some uplifting chatting with female friends so they will know it's okay to share good things in their lives.

Good luck with everything. I am sorry for your loss.
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Old 09-26-2018, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
15,747 posts, read 3,257,056 times
Reputation: 21647
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
My two closest friends I have called or emailed once every two or three weeks or four weeks for months (it is not like I have been bugging them every day or even few days). Both have been friends for over 30 years. These are people who I had lunch with at least once a month for years, and talked to on the phone several times a month (if not more often).

It is so hard to keep contacting people that I though were good friends and to be constantly rebuffed. It certainly does not make me feel good.

Oh, I undérstand now....very puzzling. Of course, it feels disappointing.

Is it someone you could ask specifically if there's some problem or issue? I mean, be direct about it??
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:47 PM
 
1,093 posts, read 382,868 times
Reputation: 2220
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
My husband died nine and a half months ago. I have been trying to get together with several good friends that I have known for over 30 years which led to this thread.

For many years (recently) I used to go to lunch with one good friend about once a month and we spoke on the phone at least once a week (we used to work together and saw each other daily for decades). I suddenly realized that I had not seen her even one time since Hubby's funeral. Looking back I recall quite a few times that I called or emailed and she responded that "relatives were in town for the next two weeks and she would call after they leave and we can have lunch" or "I'll be in Arizona for month but I'll call when I get back" or "I have a bunch of doctor's appointments coming up but we will get together soon."

With another good friend I realized that I had left so many phone messages (about once every two or three weeks for several months) and she had not returned any of my calls that I emailed her and asked if she had changed her phone number. She immediately emailed back and said had the same number and that she had "busy".

Now, there were a group of friends that got together every few months since we retired several years ago. I suddenly realized that I had not heard about any of those get-togethers being scheduled since last fall (shortly before my husband died). Hmmm, did they still have the get-togethers but not invite me?

Now, I should point out that I have wonderful supportive relatives, and one or two other friends that have been great, plus I attend a weekly widow/widowers support group that has been amazing. But, I would never in a million years have suspected that some of my oldest and dearest friends would have ignored me like they seem to have ignored me after the death of my spouse. And, it isn't a "couples thing" as we have always socialized just as female friends not as couples. Some of the women are married, some are single/never married and some are divorced.

There really isn't a question in this thread, but I wanted everyone else who is grieving that "Yes, it does happen that friends disappear after a death." And, yes, it does make it even more lonely to be a widow. I hope that it doesn't happen to you like it happened to me.
I'm so sorry that they did this to you.Some times people can really suck..no matter how long you were friends with them.Unfortunately,, some people change and not for the better.I don't and will never understand how some people can do this to people whom you've known for years and also made attempts to stay in touch all those years.It's their loss that they have lost you as a good friend.Stop communicating with them and just cherish the ones who didn't and haven't treated you this way.In my opinion...there is NO excuse for the way these people whom you have known for 30 yrs is treating you.Knowing someone for that long....there shouldn't be any awkward ANYTHING.They know you enough to not feel out of place.If they cared about the friendship...they could at least have sent you an e-mail or some sort of correspondence to ask how you're doing...that's if they feel uncomfortable seeing you face to face.Something is better then nothing..at least they could have done that.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:07 PM
 
Location: No where Nebraska
94 posts, read 105,677 times
Reputation: 294
First, I'm so very sorry for this treatment, it's rude, and very hard on your feelings and heart.
I agree with everyone's comments and I will add something.
When I was Caregiving to my parents with Alzheimer's, before all this came crashing down, my parents had a number of friends and acquaintances. When they started getting mean, hard to handle, everyone left. These people were shocked at the way they behaved, as no one ever did Caregiving to Alzheimer's. Didn't realize how bad it was.
Had another acquaintance lost her spouse, the friends, especially women deserted her like rats on a ship as they said "she would steal" the husband's of these women. Go figure.
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Durham
1,648 posts, read 2,072,445 times
Reputation: 1612
I'm sure sorry to hear this. I think some people are fair weather friends in more ways than one. They live for pleasure and entertainment. They can't be bothered with sad occasions and losses faced by friends. Heaven forbid, you might need to talk about your loss and need to lean on someone a little. You can't be raining on their picnics.

Sounds like your best move is to find some new friends. Keep up with those few that have been there for you and your family. Let go of those who have drifted away. They are not worth it.
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