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Best friend is arranging Hen Party on my dead brother's birthday

(353 Posts)
Smiliestar87 Mon 01-Feb-16 00:30:15

So I will try to explain this as clearly as possible….apologises if I ramble but I am really upset about this and need some advise about what to next.

My best girlfriend of almost 10 years is getting married in September - very exciting news!

I am a massive tomboy and she is without the closest female friend I have ever had. We met on the first day of college and just hit it off straight away. We have been backpacking together just the two of us and when there is significant drama in my life she is the one I call.

Unlike me she has lots of girlie mates and has asked one of her ex-housemates to be her bridesmaid, who I am also mates with but just not as close.

Now I am a very busy person. I am a trainee surgeon and work normally at least 1 weekend per month and do weird shift patterns due to night work etc. In addition to that I have to attend loads of courses and training outside of my work hours meaning I am often busy when my mates organise socials with little notice.

During medical school my brother died suddenly. My best friend was one of the main reasons (alongside my boyfriend) that I was able to complete my medical degree and qualify as a doctor. She really has been there for me.

Now the issue I need help with……

Bride texts me asking if I am free on a particular weekend in July. It's my brother's birthday and I have been suffering with depression over the last six months which I have kept secret from everyone except my boyfriend. I panicked and said it was only a maybe because of work. I didn't want to stress her out as I know how stressful wedding planning can be.

Over the next 72hrs I realised that I needed to tell her the truth - that it was because of my brother and no other reason.

I don't know what I was expecting but she basically replied…...
"oh well there will be other nights out"

I also contacted bridesmaid to double check if this was the date she had allocated and explained why I couldn't come. She said she knew my brothers birthday was around that time but that the date was fixed and as my availability is so poor she can't change it.

I literally feel heartbroken. I have been crying daily since this happened on Tuesday. I just feel absolutely shattered.

I don't know what to do. should I speak to the bride again?? Should I leave it??

Any advice would be amazing smile

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Mon 01-Feb-16 00:35:03

Look at it this way. What do you think your DB would say to you. Go and have a good time.

Stillunexpected Mon 01-Feb-16 00:36:57

I think this is really nothing to do with the wedding and a lot to do with the feelings you are still struggling with surrounding your brother's death. You don't say how long ago it was but obviously a couple of years. It is a sad fact that many things will happen in coming years on his birthday, the anniversary of his death and probably other significant dates.

I wouldn't contact the bride, she will have her own restrictions around dates and as you said yourself you might highly likely not be able to make any other dates she chooses either. However, I would go back to your GP as your medication may need changing or you would most likely benefit from being able to talk to someone to process why this has made you feel so devastated.

As you are such close friends, the bride to be is probably a bit thoughtless but wrapped up in the wedding so I wouldn't hold it against her.

Smiliestar87 Mon 01-Feb-16 00:37:46

I just can't. I can't explain it. I think it's because it's going to involve going to club full of drunk people just like the night he died.

I have only been clubbing about 4 times since as I find it really hard. I have flashbacks of identifying his body for the police.

UntilTheCowsComeHome Mon 01-Feb-16 00:38:51

Having lost close family members I know that there will be many, many days of the year when you will feel sad, angry, lonely and wretched.

Why not try to turn your brother's birthday in to a date to have fun and remember him with a smile? He'd want that for you. flowers

JustABigBearAlan Mon 01-Feb-16 00:39:10

I'm really sorry for your loss flowers

I think I'd leave it to be honest. I can totally understand why you feel hurt that they've arranged it for a weekend you can't do (and one that's so hard for you), but I guess it's not as though that's the only date that was no good for you and they've deliberately chosen it. If there are lots of other weekends that you are unavailable, then I suppose at some point, they just had to make a decision and pick a date that suited most people.

I can understand that it's really hurtful, but I'm sure it's not intentional. People get so caught up in wedding planning that sometimes they don't stop to think about others. You're good friends and you say she's been there for you. I don't think I'd confront her but maybe that's just because I'm not a very confrontational person!

VertigoNun Mon 01-Feb-16 00:39:15

flowers I don't think they mean to hurt you. Depression is such a horrible illness. Do you know if your depression caused by life events or is there a physical cause?

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 01-Feb-16 00:39:34

Her reply may well have been an attempt to gloss over her hen night and downplay it?
If you're depressed and struggling then you will be feeling vulnerable to 'things'. She can't understand unless you give her the full picture. If you keep it from her then she may think you are being distant but not understand why.
Talk to her.

OutWithTheDogs Mon 01-Feb-16 00:40:42

I'm sorry to hear about your brother. thanks

I think it's a shame that the hen date clashes with the death of your brother but I don't think I'd say anything more to the bride. It's just a hen night after all. It's nice if you can go but it's not essential. It's not something that should be causing upset. Maybe you can not confirm one way or another until closer to the time.

I hope you can chat this over with your partner or your parents.

UntilTheCowsComeHome Mon 01-Feb-16 00:41:23

Cross posted sorry op.

I understand that clubbing isn't the thing for you if it brings back awful memories for you. Are there any plans for a meal or drinks somewhere else first? Maybe you could go to a part of it and just leave off the clubbing.

Smiliestar87 Mon 01-Feb-16 00:42:11

The thing is neither the bride nor the bridesmaid have asked for my availability. I am free most of the weekends in June and July!

yes there are a few I can't make because of work but I am free the majority of them which is why I find this so hard.

Smiliestar87 Mon 01-Feb-16 00:43:57

There isn't another event - it's just a night out clubbing in a city I am unfamiliar with so I can't even go for the day activities.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 01-Feb-16 00:44:24

I think she responded as she did because she didn't know what to say but perhaps also to reassure you that if you can't attend she isn't going to see it as a big deal to your friendship.

It may well have come across more off hand than it was meant to because it was via text rather than in person.

I'm my head I'm imagining the face to face conversation during which she gives you a hug before saying "there will be other weekends".

Perhaps in your grief you've misinterpreted how it was meant? I only suggest that because you say she's been a good friend ti you.

VertigoNun Mon 01-Feb-16 00:44:54

You are not feeling your best, it's an anniversary and a clubbing night you won't go anyway. You can do something else another time and make happy sobar memories.

Stillunexpected Mon 01-Feb-16 00:45:27

But maybe the bride and bridesmaid aren't free on many other weekends? Or perhaps other friends aren't available - you said she has lots of girlie friends? She may have dress fittings, hair trial, other people's weddings or family occasions. This really, really isn't directed at you personally, it sounds as if they have chosen a weekend which works for them and are hoping that enough people will be free to be able to host the hen party on that weekend.

MackerelOfFact Mon 01-Feb-16 00:50:30

Given the date and the fact that nightclubs trigger such awful memories for you, I think it's perfectly understandable that you don't want to go, and I think your friend ought to understand that too. flowers

Is there a more civilised, earlier part to the day, too? Something not focused on drinking and dancing, like a meal or something? If so, it might be nice just to go along to that and then pass on the nightclub bit. That way you get to be part of the hen party as well as doing something (hopefully) enjoyable to keep your mind off the date.

Smiliestar87 Mon 01-Feb-16 00:51:21

My brother only died a couple of years ago so it's still pretty raw.

I guess the thing I struggling to wrap my head round is that I could never do this to her. If her brother/sister/parent died and I accidentally arranged a once-in-a-lifetime event like my hen on an emotional date - I would change it. It just wouldn't be my hen without her.

When we were 18 we used to joke about who would be forced to wear the worst outfit or getting married first. I know it is technically only a hen do but I have been really really looking forward to this for years.

It is definitely made worse by the fact there is a 1 in 3 chance I can't make the actual wedding in September due to starting a new training contract in August. That is nobodies fault as I signed on for the contract before she even got engaged in October! It's just one of those things.

MackerelOfFact Mon 01-Feb-16 00:52:02

Ah sorry, x-post about the daytime bit.

ridemesideways Mon 01-Feb-16 00:55:22

Sounds a bit crap anyway, if it's just clubbing. Say you don't feel up to it given x and y, but you hope they have a lovely time. Could you plan a nice activity just the two of you on another date maybe?

TheCraicDealer Mon 01-Feb-16 00:58:28

You don't say how many people in total are going on the hen do, but I presume it's not just you three, is it? There's probably a lot of people whose availability they need to consider, plus booking accommodation activities, restaurants, whatever. It might feel quite simple to just bump it forward or back a few weeks, but the reality is that it's very stressful trying to get a date in the summer which suits most people. Her text sounds like she was trying to tell you nicely that she can't rearrange whilst also softening the blow by reassuring you that there'll be other opportunities to celebrate with her.

The do they have planned sounds like it might be ambitious for you at the moment OP; the emotions around your DB's death are obviously quite close to the surface and you shouldn't force yourself to take part in something so emotive if you don't feel like you could cope with it, whether that's in January or July. You say yourself that you've been struggling lately. Please see this as a opportunity to take stock and look after yourself. Be selfish for a while, maybe plan something to celebrate your DB in July and share how you're feeling with someone in RL.

VertigoNun Mon 01-Feb-16 00:58:49

Maybe the bride too entered into a contract before you signed yours. I wouldn't take it personally. In your shoes I would focus on a lifestyle change or talking therapy/medicine to ease your MH symptoms. flowers

Smiliestar87 Mon 01-Feb-16 01:06:30

There isn't any thing else to book - it's just a night out on the tiles in fancy dress….that's all the bride has ever wanted!

I don't know about other people as there has been zero emails sent other the ones I outlined above. Literally the only contact I had was the bride texting me saying - "say your free on the xx July"

I'm really frustrated as this has knocked my recovery backwards for six - I was suicidal in November and have worked really really hard to regain my positive attitude before all this kicked off. I am genuinely struggling to find the words at how distraught I am over this.

I know that if it was another date (be it next weekend or any other weekend nr the wedding) that I would be able to cope with it. I have managed to go out on 2 other hen do's in the last year and actually have a good time once I relaxed and the bride knows this.

OzzieFem Mon 01-Feb-16 01:08:22

The date was set. When the bride texted you your reply was a "maybe" because of work. Now you say neither asked for your availability. Your post make you seem unreasonable by the fact you seem to think they should change the approved date.

I do understand how you feel about the date of the event however. When we lose a loved one emotions can overwhelm us at any time. In the shower, driving to work, whenever we suddenly think of the deceased. Some people seem to think you should get over it fairly quickly but it can take years. sad

I think you should leave it if you feel you will you will not be able cope, as it will ruin the event for the others. Perhaps make a date to see her before or after that date. Is it a hen party?

OzzieFem Mon 01-Feb-16 01:10:33

Think I missed a few posts. Sorry blush

Smiliestar87 Mon 01-Feb-16 01:12:10

Neither asked for my availability before that text.

That was literally it - can you do xx via a text. Nobody had asked me about other dates I was/wasn't free. Bridesmaid has just assumed I am not free even though I am! That's why I am annoyed - I can make loads of other dates!

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