Why do some friends abandon us?

Im sat here contemplating my navel (a bad habit of mine!)
I had just had a little browse about our forum, and its remarkable how many times this question is asked.
If Im honest, my initial gut reaction is to tell myself to “stuff 'em”.
But given time, it often becomes clear that there may be far more understandable reasons why they behave in this way.
Penny and I had (have) great friends, we often met, had meals, and went on holiday together.
They turned up, gave me hugs and helped in practical ways. They turned up to her remembrance party and said all the right things, but obviously upset.
In the year since, I have heard nothing from them, essentially being blanked, despite my efforts to reach out.
Ive spent a lot of time thinking what evil I had perpetrated to cause them to react like this.
I later learnt that one of them had just been diagnosed with a very serious health problem just before the party and was just about to go into hospital. I also learnt that they had asked all those who knew about it not to tell me, I guess they knew I had enough to worry about without that.

So Im pretty sure I hadnt perpetrated evil, their reaction was more likely one of kindness… Either that, or that they had too much to cope with without taking grief on board.
Either reason is plenty good enough for me.
Just goes to show that other people can have their own problems, and that jumping to conclusions isnt sometimes the best thing.


On the other hand…

Some people dont have any empathy, and are just 'orrible. I worked with many of them.
If they were cruel and hurtful before our bereavement, we shouldnt expect anything different, then we should “stuff 'em”.
If they were nice beforehand, but now arent, there is a reason.
Sorry, I’m getting philosophiical this morning, and I might just be about to get more so.
There is a principle, devised by some monk or other about figuring whats gone wrong. Its called “Occam’s razor”. It says that if we dont understand why things have happened, the explanation is usually the simplest alternative. Im great at inventing complex explanations for things, but I’m almost certainly wrong every time


Hi @tykey,
Too much time on your hands makes me think alot about life and the universe and how we fit into all of this.
One thing I am lucky, or fortunate about, non of my friends or colleagues have stopped being in contact with me. Many knew Doug well too. In many ways it has drawn friendships closer together, I still hear about all their illnesses, hospital appointments and even one of my old neighbour’s messaged me about his wife passing away last week. As did my sister in law, Doug’s younger sister.
People are complex I try never try to judge someone’s reaction to loosing Doug, I never know what they are going through in their own lives. I always try to see the best in everyone.


i have been feeling abandoned too, people telephone me and talk about everything under the sun except my husband, I go along with it as they obviously don’t comfortable with my grief. Some friends say pop up any time you feel sad and we can have a cuppa, sounds good but they were just going out when I arrived, not a good time to start crying so I returned home. I have come to the conclusion that Everyone has their own issues to deal with and the World is moving on, in time I will too, so now I try to be happy when I am out and cry in private and talk about my feelings to my family only.


Hi @G2Gx . Of course you can talk about whatever you want on here, we all understand how essential talking is. Keep trying to talk to others as well, you soon find out who will sit quietly and listen and who doesnt. I’ll admit I didnt really know what to say to someone in grief , until I was going through it myself. I do now! Just start rabbiting, even if they dont ask, they’ll soon catch on to what you want.

One of my best listeners, just asked me to recall my happiest memories of Penny. After 15 minutes, I thought she deserved a cuppa!

So why not try telling us of your happiest memory - it really helps.

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I have two friends who I have had to distance myself a bit from as I do all of the listening. I am even too shy to ask for attention to my problems. I feel it is impolite. and wait for them to enquire or care about me. I have distanced myself because both have blown it. I give more to them, and everyone, than other give to me. so … people do disappear afterwards and I think that is about true in 90% of all aftermaths of loss. you are definitely experiencing something normal. it is a terrible thing to find out that most people, friends, do not care as much as we need them to. one of the hard truths in life.

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