Friend frustrations

Hello everyone, I just need to vent about a couple of things.
So during this unbearable journey I have a few very close friends who have supported throughout. Back in February I had my daughter’s inquest that I wanted to attend hoping for the full support of my closest friends. One of them let me down saying she didn’t feel mentally able to come with me as felt it would be too much for her as she was suffering with taking on too much work (she is a counsellor!) I have massively struggled to accept this. I just don’t know how to move forward. I care for this friend so much and she was at the beginning a huge support for me, now I feel our relationship has shifted. I know she knows I’m not happy and I suppose I am bring different towards her.
My other friend I confided too about this problem only to just get no response or validation of my feelings. Made me question myself.? I said once I had finished telling him as I got nothing from him… “ do you understand “? He just kind of nodded. I’m so angry that they are letting me down. I know I am just distancing myself to avoid further misery. My 28 year old daughter passed away last August so it’s still so raw. My heartache and pain feels worse as time is going by.
Sending everyone virtual hugs xxx

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Hello @navvy71 ,

I’m so sorry for the loss of your daughter. Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m just giving your thread a gentle, “bump” for you - hopefully someone will have some thoughts to share.

Take good care,
Alex

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Thank you Alex

I’ve found friends that I’d had for over 30 years disappeared on me. I guess they couldn’t handle my grief as I’m so consumed with the pain of losing my son. It’s still so raw after nearly 15 months. They don’t know the pain of losing a child, I understand that but I did expect them to be more sympathetic.

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I fully understand where you are coming from about friendship. My ex best friend was so full of her health, negative ways etc, all things which I had never really noticed before I lost my son March 2023. She never asked about my son’s inquest. November I lost my stepson and then I decided I don’t need negative people in my life, so deleted a lot of people, yes I have changed, my outlook etc on life, it I can assure you I feel so much better for it. Not sure if it has helped you at all but you are definitely not alone xx

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So sorry for your sad loss In my experience friends are not always able to live up to our expectations After being let down after the death of my husband last year by someone I considered a very close friend I have come to the conclusion after months of anger and then contemplation that perhaps I was at fault not her. I realise now I expected far too much from her and that I misjudged the depth and strength of our relationship.
You said one of your friends was a counsellor Well as an ex professional myself I think you cannot act in any way as a counsellor to friends or family You are too close and won’t be able to give appropriate advice and support. She may have had difficulties in bridging the 2 roles friend and counsellor and didn’t mean to let you down.
I know you are going through such a tough time right now and you have my deepest condolences This will slowly pass but it is a very painful journey I hope you will feel more at peace soon

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I’ve read the reply’s and thank you for all your understanding. :white_heart:

This is so so hard to manage along with learning to adjust to this new life that’s been turned upside down and living with the constant sadness. I know I have high expectations especially from my dear friend who is a counsellor. I just can’t help it right now, I just have to give it time. Thank you all once again and sending peace to you xxx

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Hi @navvy71
Your post made me sad, you have every right to feel anger towards your friends because you need them now more than ever , far more than they will ever need you, and they have let you down. But the saddest part, for me, is they will never know how much they have failed you because they will never know how different the grief is when you lose a child. ( my baby was 21 and passed almost 8months ago)
Your counsellor friend will think what you have is normal grief but there is nothing normal about the trauma you face every single day from the moment your child has passed.
Unfortunately there are so many others on here with similar stories of family and friends abandoning grieving parents, so much so we look at ourselves and think we must have done something wrong, we have pushed people away, we expect too much,
I don’t know why my family and friends don’t message any more, I don’t know why my neighbours run indoors, I theorise and excuse but ultimately I just think they are awful people and being trapped in my lonely world without them is probably where I need to be, the were never friends in the first place.

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@MoBe Thank you for acknowledging my feelings and understanding. :cherry_blossom:
I’m still at a loss as to why 2 of my closest friends have acted in this way.
Not heard from one for 2 weeks and my other friend has actually ignored a message that I sent yesterday expressing some joy at my cat returning after being missing for 1 year. Totally ignored my message. I believe he is suffering with feeling low and possibly depressed but unfortunately I have no capacity to support him. Maybe selfish but that’s how it is. Family as well distant now. Not heard from my Dad since January,
I feel incredibly lonely which from reading through other peoples posts seems to be a common theme with our grief. :broken_heart:

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I’m so pleased your cat came home, I would be overjoyed thinking my daughter had brought it home ( I look for her everywhere)

I don’t know why people turn away from us, I don’t think I am being difficult when I refuse an invite or wait until I am actually physically able to return a message. I even heard myself telling someone I’m ok,
how the hell am I ok and who in their right mind would expect me to be ok???
I don’t think you’re being selfish, just acknowledging your friend may have issues of his own is a huge step but don’t expect to deal with those issues, your grief is huge, it’s all consuming, there is no way you have room in your life to deal with anyone or anything other than you, your pain and the loss of your daughter … and that is fine.

I know I thought exactly the same when my cat Tiger returned :white_heart::pray:

Still not heard from either of my 2 close friends. I’m baffled and the longer it continues the harder it will be for me to forgive them for not supporting me. I had an hour long telephone conversation with an ex partner last night. I was in a low place saw he was online and reached out to him. He then asked if he could call, which meant the world to me. But he also said some clumsy things. I have to keep saying to myself … he means well/people mean well and are no way intentionally trying to cause more pain. So in a way was comforting to talk but then frustrating with some of the comments he made😢 then it plays on your mind.

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You’re right, no one is saying/doing these things to deliberately hurt you but sometimes you wish they would just think a little harder of how they would feel if they had lost a child. Too many people compare their grief, which I think of as ‘normal’ grief ( the loss of parents/grandparents) to our grief, which is a whole different experience, it’s not even in the same universe. On my kinder days I tell myself there is no way they can know because I didn’t have a clue until it happened, but mostly I think they’re c*#*s!
I miss my child like the air I breathe, I need her to survive. Right now I’m just existing in a world full of people who will never know the pain we live through every day.
We look for relief from the hurt in the strangest of places, we hope our words or actions will ease the pain, the truth is it’s always there, no matter how hard or far we try to run.

Hi navvy.
Sorry for your loss. Reading your post thought I’d try and offer some light on the matter. I used to come on this site a lot. Not so much these days. It’s helped me so much to heal.
I lost my son ( only child) when he was 24 in a car crash.
In the beginning I thought it was just me it happened to when your friends start to turn away from you. Only coming on here did I realize that it practically happens to everyone after a loss.
Over 400 people came to my son’s funeral. With in the days that followed people disappeared quicker than I could count. I didn’t notice at first as I was So wrapped in grief. But as the weeks rolled by I began to notice I hadn’t heard from lifelong friends. No phone calls, text messages.
Just zero contact . Whenever I went out I would notice people visibly avoiding me. I pointed it out to my wife as I thought I was being paranoid. I’ve literally bumped into people I’ve known really well in supermarkets or just on the street and seen them look at me ,about turn and walk away. One guy actually let go of his half full shopping trolley and walk out of the shop as the thought of speaking to me completely floored him. This went on for months. As for my"friends" people I’ve known for 30/40 years practically fell off the face of the earth. People I’d been on holiday with. Been to school with attended weddings with. People I’d spent a lifetime with. They all just disappeared. I thought it must be me. Maybe I’ve become different. I did try to reach out to old friends but, you could tell they just didn’t want to know me any more. I didn’t turn into a monster I was still just me, but a grieving me. And that’s all it took. For 2 or 3 years after I lost my son it really bothered me. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with these people. But what happens is the gap becomes so long that you loose the bond with “friends” untill they are no longer friends. It eventually dawned on me that these people were never coming back. I don’t see a single person that I classed as a friend from before my son died. As well as the grieving you also have to contend with the fact people close to you become alien. Eventually I found my feet again and made new friends in different circles. I now define my life as before and after my son died. After the loss of a child your world shifts it’s axis. But you learn to live with it. I’m a lot longer down the grief road than yourself. I never think of the people I used to know. People that were once practically part of my family. My only explanation as to why people behave this way is. They simply don’t know what to say to you because they can’t comprehend the loss you have suffered. So it’s easier for them to say nothing at all and stay away. You will kickstart your life again it will just be different. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have wasted any energy worrying and wondering why people do what they do but unfortunately there is no manual on how people will treat you after a loss. You have to find out the hard way.
The other thing I would mention is the strange things people will say to you after a loss. Like, it’s been 6 months or a year, you should be over it now. Or. Cheer up! You can’t bring them back. And all manner of things like that. People will say things to you that will bother you for months even years after. But you just get used to it. We are not programmed for loosing a child. It’s a massive learning curve that you just have to navigate the best way you can. Until the time comes that you get stronger and find yourself again.
Take care jim

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Dear Jim

Thank you so much for taking the time to send a reply. I often read your posts on here.

I’m so very sorry for the loss of your son, it’s the most painful, traumatic experience for any of us to go through.

As you say in parts of your post people are at a loss as to what to say. There is nothing anyone can do or say to make any difference. I think just being there and holding space with that person is of some comfort.

My village is tiny. I completely resonate with your way of describing how everyone feels alien to our world now. I feel I almost don’t fit in.

I’m 9 months into this, it still only feels like yesterday. I also think some people still believe there is a process with grief and after so many months have passed you maybe feeling better:( As we all know it’s not a linear process and no end in sight.

Thank you once again Jim and I wish you a peaceful Sunday. :shamrock:

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