In your time of need were your friends useless?

On top of the grief I felt absolute disappointment that not one single friend picked up the phone to ring me after my Dad had died and only one friend sent a card to me.

Any contact was strictly through WhatsApp. Although I have let go of most of the anger it still bothers me a bit to this day. What’s more is one friend didn’t come to his funeral because she had a blood test. I feel bad but I don’t really see this as a friendship worth continuing.

I know death is awkward for people to talk about but I get sick of people being let off the hook because they “don’t know what to say.” Perhaps I was expecting too much? I’m sorry that this is slightly ranty. Just wanted to get it off my chest.

I would have really appreciated some support from my so-called friends. Luckily I have very close knit family and we are all there for each other and for this I am so grateful.

How have your experiences been?

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Yes I completely agree, the friends who I thought would have come to see me, stayed away, all the history we had over the years, not even a card, I’m so disappointed in them, yes I know they don’t know how to react, but a hug would have done, and they could say, ’ I don’t know what to do for you ’ they stayed away, you know who your true friends are, when they just arrive kettle on, hugs, crying. But now after their visits all is left is me. I’ve to make my own way, nobody can do it for you, my iPad has been my saviour, reading people’s posts. Sourced places to go locally, joined clubs it’s very hard but it is only you who can do it. I walk round with my sunglasses on, I don’t care if I feel like weeping going down the road so be it. My family have been really supportive my children especially, always phoning, texting are you ok mom,? What a blessing they have been to me my David would have been so proud of them. Joining a walking group, a craft class has helped me see new people, maybe make friends who knows, I feel it will do for now.

A very dear friend of ours (sadly no longer with us) always used to say “If you can count your friends on one hand you’re a very lucky man, if you can count them on two hands you’re a bloody fool”. I think he was right. True friends are rare although we have many acquaintances. I’m fortunate in that I have 2 or 3 wonderful friends who have been there for me constantly since my husband passed. However, one friend who I thought would always go the extra mile, during a recent issue I had, proved to be a big disappointment. I think our definition of loyalty is very different and although we are still ‘friends’ I no longer think of her as a true friend. It’s a sad fact that when the chips are down we really do find out who our true friends are - those are the ones to hang on to. Sending love xx

Yes. This has been experienced by me too. I am now of the mind (although I think I already was before), that we shouldn’t rely on anyone for much, if anything at all, we should rely only on ourselves. People always have reasons, I prefer to call them excuses because that’s what they are, for their behaviour. I’d rather rely on me to be honest and at the end of the day although the fact that someone cares is a very nice feeling and thought, nothing that they do or say makes the slightest bit of difference to our situation. Consequently, I adopt my Dads philosophy, expect nowt from anyone and you’ll not be disappointed:))

I don’t Dad so, I’m not :slight_smile: x

I like your dad’s philosophy CW. I must add though that my family as in siblings have been and still are incredible. I am one of eight and we are close. Since mum died we meet up once a month for a family breakfast. Since my husband went, there is often one or another on the phone or visiting. My husband adored being a part of our large family. He had two brothers but they had been estranged for many years so my family became his. Xx

Thank you for your replies. It is saddening to hear it has been the same for you all too.

Ironically the one person who bothered to call me was an acquaintance who I was at college with, I barely knew him but I was touched by his thoughtfulness and will be forever.

I tend to agree with your wise Dad, CW13. A Yorkshire man per chance? :slight_smile:

I guess all we can do is be our own source of strength and draw comfort from our families.

Sending love x

My experience seems to be a bit different in that the support I’ve had from my close friends has been exactly right. I walk with a local group of the Ramblers Association and one good friend called regularly during my wife’s illness to see how we were, and then he acted as a link with the rest of the group to update them. My wife died nearly ten months ago and it was a seamless transition to get back to walking with them.
My close friends date back to when we were all teenagers and they are almost family. They have been extremely supportive. I know a lot of other people but would call them friends as such. I would never want to appear needy.
Two members of Carolyn’s family lost their husbands very young, and they have been constantly there for me. My neighbours have been very good.
I haven’t had a single bad experience but then I didnt have high expectations. My two brothers have been there if needed but not overly so. I get invites for meals.
I think generally speaking the best support has been from women. I also realise that I would have been fairly rubbish at giving support but I would be very different now.

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Yes, Daffodil. A Yorkshire man :slight_smile: I think I was probably brought up to be responsible for myself and my own circumstances and situations. Independence was, and still is, the name of the game. Although I’m often the first to offer support and help to others, I’m the last to accept it and I realise that. To be fair to others this is probably why I don’t often have support or help offered to me. I carry the ‘I’ve got this’ persona quite naturally I think. I haven’t always ‘got this’ though but, if others think I have then that’s half the job done :))) x

Don’t you be thinking you can sneak in by the back door. Only 100% qualifies.

How alike we sound. I have always been independent and responsible for my own life. When I got married at seventeen my mother said “You made your bed now you have to lie in it”. My first husband left us when I was 22… Myself and two children under the age of three years, no job or money and a mortgage and bills to pay. My husband could offer little help. I asked no one for anything and we survived with my hard work. Yes, now I’m proud of myself at the time it was tough.
Recently someone said to me that I was a person that didn’t like to show weakness and they was right. But then neither do I ever get any help from anyone, I suppose I don’t give the impression I need it. My Brian said he had never known a woman like me for being independent and never asking for anything.
My first husband said to me years after we had gone our own ways. “When I left you I always knew you would find a way to survive”. Now I’m back to square one it seems, again having to find a way to survive, but so much harder this time. Pat xxx

My friends were pretty good to be fair, its always difficult to know what to say but what they did say really helped. It was actually my wife that was useless, she has found it very hard to deal with me grieving and has made some shocking decision. 6-8 weeks after my dad died she stopped my mum from staying over saying that she was uncomfortable when she did stay, to this day she still maintains that this was the right thing to do.

My Mum born in Gargrave my Dad in Harrogate. As for me, Preston, Lancashire has the pleasure :slight_smile:

I’m sure your wife has her reasons that are logical to her, Graham. I don’t accept supporting a grieving person is difficult. It’s uncomfortable at worst, but not difficult. I hear lots of people say ‘I hate hospitals’ and act as though that’s a decent reason for them not to visit someone who is unfortunate enough to be in one. I’ve never heard a person say ‘I love hospitals’ have you! For goodness sake, why can’t people deal with these things that are called ‘life’ and deal with the out of comfort zone moments instead of passing their issues on to us. It’s a proper bone of contention with me (can’t you tell) and as I said on an earlier post, just another form of excuse and opportunity to make it about them rather than about the person who’s really suffering.

Aaarrrggghhh… I’m on one now aren’t I, I’ll shut up. Love to you (and your Mum) :slight_smile:

Yes Pat, we do sound alike. Except for the gardening. We are miles apart in that one…although your enthusiasm has inspired me on occasion :slight_smile: xx

Totally implausible. Why would two people born in Yorkshire do that? Were they abducted? You do tell some stories.

thanks for the reply cw13.
I dont really understand the real reasons why she made this decision but i have my ideas. The problems is that she isnt comfortable with deep and meaningful conversations and tends to clam up. i think she the made the decision because she was uncomfortable with it all, which as you say doesn’t help very much when your grieving and trying to look after your mum.

How are you getting on, you sound like you’ve had a tough time reading between the lines

Hey, you’re not supposed to read between the lines :)). I’m OK thank you. Trying my best to get on with it as we all are. More successful some days than others but, such is the way it is for each of us. I interpret the grief as love in another form. I want the love to remain so, I’ll take the grief, Graham :slight_smile:

Thank you for asking I appreciate it x

I never asked. But I’m sure there will have been a good reason. Whether you’d see it as good is another story but I can live with that :slight_smile:

My experience has been that only a small number of “friends”, mostly the unexpected ones ,have been supportive. It’s nearly five months since our daughter died and we don’t hear from more than half a dozen any more. At least one hasn’t even acknowledged Helen’s death, even though I’d imagined she was a friend. My sister and brother haven’t phoned (they don’t live nearby) for weeks. They and their families came to the funeral and the commemoration we held but since, hardly a word.
One who keeps in touch lost her daughter equally abruptly just before we did. My brother told me that the family had decided they would send us flowers a few weeks after the commemoration as they knew so many would bring them to the house (which they did). Nothing from my family.
It’s not that I want people to spend their money on us but an occasional text or email wouldn’t cost and we might fell less as if we’d disappeared. All we have is our son-in-law and three or four friends.

It is times like this we find out who are our true friends, the ones who step forward…some the least we would have expedited…they do this out of kindness from their heart asking for nothing or only little in return…These are the ones I will forever remember… as and when they shall get rewarded from me…I will show them my gratitude…Just some people will go that extra mile and want nothing in return, they do this out of the goodness of their heart…

Jackie…

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