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Mum terminally ill and no contact from best friend

(33 Posts)
MrsPatrickDempsey Sat 06-Feb-16 17:59:54

Right, I think I am up to some honesty! Having a bit of a tough time and am aware that I may not be perceiving things rationally.

Background - best friend of 20 years; lives very near, god mothers to each other's children, shared holidays etc. Close but not in each other's pockets.

My mum is terminally ill. (That is hard to type) Only one possible treatment through major surgery. Went to a regional specialist centre two hours away from home two weeks ago for surgery to be performed. Risk that she may not survive the surgery. In the event, she very nearly didn't; had a cardiac arrest, very unstable and they decided not to proceed. So now nothing else can be done. All a shock and quite traumatic seeing someone you love deteriorate and suffer. Stressful supporting my distraught dad.

Mum is known to best friend well. On the day of the unsuccessful surgery I texted her an update. Prior to this she hadn't shown much support or interest in how mum was. The reply I received was 'what a disappointment'. I have heard nothing since. No text, phone call, knock at the door.

So: aibu for having unrealistic expectations of her? Is it my responsibility to reach out to her?

Or is she being unkind? Through her lack of contact all I can assume is that she doesn't care. What might I have overlooked?

I am a bit wobbly emotionally and trying to carry on working (in caring profession so giving to others) while keeping things on a level for my kids and traveling to see mum every other day so friend's needs aren't at the top of my list at the moment.

Just need perspective cos I feel angry and a bit hurt.

sonjadog Sat 06-Feb-16 18:05:25

I think you are jusified to feel hurt. From personal experience I have discovered that those who I considered my closest friends were not those who came through for me in hard times. Do you have other friends who are there for you? I would leave this friend to it and concentrate on thsoe who really are there for you. When this difficult time is over, you may want to adjust your friendships, but don't bother with it now. You have enough on your mind.

soupmaker Sat 06-Feb-16 18:11:37

No wonder you feel hurt. Your friend doesn't sound like much of a friend to me. I've had what I thought were very close friends who in the tough times were nowhere to be seen. Slowly but surely I edited them out of my life and made better friends.

soupmaker Sat 06-Feb-16 18:13:39

Oh, and sorry about your mum. I hope you have other people to support you. It's tough facing the loss of a parent, look after yourself.

cankles Sat 06-Feb-16 18:15:53

YANBU, she has let you down and I would feel very disappointed in the same position. She needs to hear that you are disappointed and surprised by her lack of contact or support - that way at least you can talk together. She may not say what you want to hear, she may be defensive, she may, of course, apologise because she doesn't know what to say or do. Then you can decide what you want to do about the friendship.

stravagante Sat 06-Feb-16 18:22:56

She might not want to bother you...I'd wait to hear from you if I knew you were going through this as I wouldn't want to burden you. Reach out to her once more. If she's aloof then you know where you are.
Sorry to hear about your Mum xx

Roussette Sat 06-Feb-16 18:26:09

I would put this from your mind whilst you are looking after your DM, you just dont need it and its better to just ignore for now.

However, it is very hurtful indeed. My very best friend's dad literally dropped dead unexpectedly last year, she was in pieces. Again and again I've been there for her, she's better now but still could burst into tears at the drop of a hat {things trigger don't they...) and true friends would always drop everything to be there and support.

No - at this moment in time - it is not your place to reach out to her. It should be her doing this. Be kind to yourself, I wish you well.

greatscott81 Sat 06-Feb-16 18:30:25

Maybe she is trying to give you some space and perhaps she doesn't quite know how to deal with this horribly upsetting scenario. However, don't focus on this right now - you have far too much to deal with. I'm sorry for what you're going through.

ThomasRichard Sat 06-Feb-16 18:37:16

YANBU to be hurt. In my mind though, there are different types of people and friends who are good at different things. When I was going through a very difficult time, the mums at a baby group I'd been attending helped me out by babysitting while I attended various hospital appointments. Another friend was excellent at letting me talk. Another set of friends visited me in hospital, to my complete surprise, and many more sent messages of love and support. My 'best friend', who I've known since we were little kids, was in the last group. She's fantastic at arranging meet-ups, talking about everyday things and giving me advice, because she knows me so well. Dealing with me being critically ill wasn't her forte, but that's ok, because other friends were there and she's great at something else.

A bit long-winded but that helped me.

MrsPatrickDempsey Sat 06-Feb-16 18:39:35

Thanks all for taking time to reply. I appreciate your views and good wishes. I am thankfully teallh close to my sister; work colleagues are being really accommodating and there are others who are there for me. I am just surprised by her lack of response but wasn't sure if I was being over sensitive .

EponasWildDaughter Sat 06-Feb-16 19:18:33

''From personal experience I have discovered that those who I considered my closest friends were not those who came through for me in hard times.''

Yes, i'll second this ^ ^

flowers for you OP. And best wishes for your mum.

FindoGask Sat 06-Feb-16 19:58:21

My husband's supposedly closest friend managed, I am not joking, a single commiserating text when he heard the news of my father-in-law's death. One text. He hasn't heard from him since.

Some people are just very self-absorbed, to an extent that goes beyond the awkwardness that can initially be felt about how best to support someone when they're going through what you are. I'm really sorry your friend is one of those and I'm sorry about your mum.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 06-Feb-16 20:00:21

flowers. Sending you love and support, so sorry to hear about your lovely mum.
With your friend it could be one of 2 things. Your friend could be one of those people who just doesn't know what to say to people in times of need, and is phobic of unintentionally through nerves saying the wrong thing
Or it could be that at the darkest hour. You find out who your "Friends" are.

notenoughbottle Sat 06-Feb-16 20:03:51

I am in a similar situation OP. My BF's dad sadly passed away quickly 18 months ago. I did everything within my means to help her from phone calls and texts to making a meal at one point so she had one less thing to think about. Fast forward to now and my Dad is very ill with cancer and quite frankly she's been completely crap. I'm devastated by her behaviour. I've had texts that never lead to anything and I've given up on our friendship tbh. I really feel for you as a BF should be someone we should be able to depend on. Has she lost anyone close to her recently? I kniw this is something that may have been difficult for my 'BF'...

mintoil Sat 06-Feb-16 20:09:46


I have also sadly been in a similar situation and was so shocked at how poorly I was treated by "friends" I had been close to for over thirty years.

I got more sympathy and support from virtual strangers than I did from so called close friends. I am still reeling from it to be honest and I have totally reevaluated my circle of friends as a result.

There are no words that can take your pain away but all I can say is I understand.

PunkrockerGirl Sat 06-Feb-16 20:17:12

I think yanbu to feel like this.
Sending flowers
I lost my db 4 weeks ago. I think some people just genuinely don't know how to react, but it's not up to you to reach out to her. I'd send the odd text to update her, but if she doesn't respond or offer help then I'd add her to the ex friend list.

AlwaysHopeful1 Sat 06-Feb-16 20:19:54

Yanbu, sorry about your mumthanks I can't think of any excuse good enough that she can't take a few seconds to spare. You find your true friends in your dark moments. She's not really a good friend.

alltheworld Sat 06-Feb-16 20:23:47

I lost df and have been shocked at how uncaring some friends have been,even friends who I supported through their bereavements.

HolaWeenie Sat 06-Feb-16 20:27:09

Yanbu. My best friend lost her mum and dad within a couple of years of each other. I had no words and I still managed to support her, every couple of days I checked up on her. even just to send a text to say I loved her.

Giving you space isn't a good excuse. Best friends don't do that.

So very sorry about your mum.

bornwithaplasticspoon Sat 06-Feb-16 20:34:49

So sorry your mum is so poorly, op flowers

Just a thought, has your friend lost her mum or dad? I have I and find it hard to be supportive to others for some reason I can't put my finger on. I absolutely FEEL deeply sad for them but can't seem to communicate it. Maybe it's too close for comfort.

BurningBridges Sat 06-Feb-16 22:53:56

My heart goes out to you, you are doing a great job caring for your mum.

When my best friend was dying her DH and daughter deliberately kept me away from her, whilst allowing even acquaintances to visit, yet I was not even allowed to speak to her on the phone. Initially I tried to feel sorry for them but they never bothered with me after she died. Grief makes people do very odd things.

BillBrysonsBeard Sun 07-Feb-16 01:21:32

Totally agree with others experiences on here. When my dad died last year I had two close friends (seperate to each other) go totally awol and haven't heard anything since. It's really strange. But people who were just acquaintances have stepped forward and become closer so that's been nice. Some people just can't deal with death and sad things OP, but all they need to do is let you know they're thinking of you. Sorry about your mum flowers

EllieJayJay Sun 07-Feb-16 01:36:35

I'm so sorry your mum is poorly x

When my father died my two "closest" friends disappeared, a year later I had made some contact with them and then I lost a baby... I mentioned I was feeling lost and not heard from either since and was exceptionally hurt. One I had helped at great lengths on more than one occasion, to the point of turning my house upside down to give her somewhere to live when having terrible relationship issues. The other looked after during some very sad times. What I found most harsh is both new each other and had helped each other when they went through the bad times.

What I did find is that there were two people who were friends but not that close noticed I'd not been so chatty on Facebook and asked what was wrong when I told them the kindest and support was amazing, and I will never forget this and now feel I have two exceptional friends in them.

ohtheholidays Sun 07-Feb-16 01:52:05

YANBU OP and I'm so sorry about your poor Mum. flowers

I lost my Mum just under 2 years ago,my bestfriend was brilliant,my parents were very close to her and had known her since she was 3 years old,so for 35 years nearly.
My Mum's bestfriend was bloody awful!She didn't see my Mum for ages before she passed away,didn't go and see her in hospital,nothing.
Yet she turned up at the funeral and sat near my Dad so me,my DH and our DC couldn't and since the funeral she's not bothered to speak to my Dad,see how's he doing nothing and he's been rushed into hospital 3 times and we nearly lost him.
Yet if she was ill my Mum would go and visit her,helped out with her children,helped out with her job,helped her with money,she even lived with my parents for a while and my Mum helped her when her husband left her and when she was loosing her home.She was about 20 years younger than my Mum and in good health as well,so there really was no excuse.
I can't forgive her for the way she's behaved and I never will.

I think sadly like other posters have said it can be times like this that you really see those that are there for you and those that aren't.
I know I was really surprised by some of the people that really went out of they're way to contact us and to help.Those people honestly made up for what my Mum's bestfriend was like.
I hope you have lots of support around you from people that love both you and your Mum and please try and be kind to yourself and do whatever you need to do to help you through [hugs]

Monty27 Sun 07-Feb-16 02:04:53

I can't understand why she did that. Was she close to your mum? Was she close to her's? I won't go into it, but suffice to say, when you need someone doesn't mean they are there for you. Perhaps they are selfish, or don't know how much you need them.

On any level, it's hurtful.

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