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To chat to someone I used to work with about the death of their friend?

(74 Posts)
jdoe8 Thu 20-Apr-17 15:22:46

Maybe I'm just being nosey, but I dont use facebook that often but just noticed that an old work mates, that I actually quite like but haven't spoken in years, best friend died last year.

I was quite shocked as I knew this friend and had met him several times and chatted to him. He must of been in early 30s.

Is it bad that i'm interested in knowing more? I was thinking about just sending a "sorry to hear about your loss" message to the friend, but would that be bad?

peachgreen Thu 20-Apr-17 15:24:57

Yes, because you're not wanting to help, you're just being nosy.

ChaiTeaTaiChi Thu 20-Apr-17 15:28:25

Is it bad that i'm interested in knowing more? I was thinking about just sending a "sorry to hear about your loss" message to the friend, but would that be bad?

Yes its bad to send a fake condolence message because you are nosy. Do you have to ask?

FishInAWetSuitAndFlippers Thu 20-Apr-17 15:29:20

I think it is quite bad that you don't want to offer sympathies or support (the 'sorry for your loss' is simply a means to get information) you just want the gossip.

FanaticalFox Thu 20-Apr-17 15:29:22

YABU. You don't are you're just being a rude nosey person.

FanaticalFox Thu 20-Apr-17 15:29:40

You dont CARE i meant.

jdoe8 Thu 20-Apr-17 15:30:02

It's not a fake condolence message, I was quite taken a back when I saw it as it's someone I've met several times and would stop and chat to if i bumped into on the street.

harderandharder2breathe Thu 20-Apr-17 15:30:12

Yabu because you don't care about your former colleague you're just being nosy

Heychickadee Thu 20-Apr-17 15:31:05

When my best friend died I had several people message me on Facebook (people that I hadn't spoken to for ages) to pry under the guise of offering sympathy. It was horribly obvious even if they thought they were being subtle and it was horrible, it felt so fake. Offer condolences yes, but really there's no need for you to know what happened surely?

jdoe8 Thu 20-Apr-17 15:32:30

I think it is quite bad that you don't want to offer sympathies or support

That's exactly what I was trying to say in the message. What would be better to say? It happened a while ago and I see that there was a fundraising to give him a nice send-off.

24carrottop Thu 20-Apr-17 15:34:11

Look I'm going to be honest here.

Most people have a certain degree of nosiness when someone does that hey haven't seen in a while...perhaps no one is willing to admit it. It's not malicious, just curiosity.

However, please don't act on your curiosity if you're not that genuinely concerned.

smile

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 20-Apr-17 15:34:38

If it was last year it will seem a bit weird unless they are fund raising right now. How did you find out by stalking going back through her old FB posts? If so that would be strange too!

24carrottop Thu 20-Apr-17 15:34:47

dies not does!!

jdoe8 Thu 20-Apr-17 15:37:10

Thanks carrott, there is actually a reason I want to know what happened because of what we discussed, it however is not a genuine reason.

But thanks for seeing it from that honest viewpoint flowers

No I'm not stalking, it came up in my feed that she added some photos to a memory's album.

NerrSnerr Thu 20-Apr-17 15:40:06

I had a number of false condolence messages and FB friend requests when my sister died. People who neither of us had spoken to in years. It was obvious who was being nosy and not genuine.

Derlei Thu 20-Apr-17 15:40:33

I don't see the problem with this; OP knew the person too. Yes she may not have known him very well but that doesn't mean she shouldn't be able to ask what actually happened, it's not only family and close friends that have the right to know how a loved one has passed away.
. And it wouldn't be fake either to send something like "I'm so sorry for your loss, he was such a nice person, I can't believe it, what on earth happened?" The OP wouldn't be saying anything in that sentence that wasn't the truth

user1489261248 Thu 20-Apr-17 15:41:50

Agree with peachgreen.

If you have had nothing to do with the person who you used to know, for many years, and you didn't even know the person who died, then don't bother getting in touch; it's very poor form.

When a couple of people close to me died some years ago, several people came out of the woodwork who hadn't been in touch for over one and a half decades, and I thought 'why don't you just fuck off?'

People going to the funeral(s) of people they have had sod-all to do with for 1-2 decades or more, or people they don't know, really pisses me off. I mean WHY?! I know for a fact that I don't want people who have had fuck-all to do with since the 1990's turning up at my funeral. I have given my husband explicit instructions to make sure only the people who are close to me like family and friends, and our neighbours and colleagues come.

Obviously a funeral is (usually) in a public place, and no-one can stop people coming, but they will not be told about my death, and they will not be invited. Who the hell goes to the funeral of someone they have had nothing to do with for 2 decades or more anyway? Weird and attention seeking and grabby imo.

And it takes a special kind of weird to go to a funeral of someone you don't know, or have never met, ... (celebrities who you were a fan of excluded.)

EpoxyResin Thu 20-Apr-17 15:50:05

Look, to be honest I'm going to say I think you should send the condolences because despite of your motivations your old colleague might want to hear it. Grief can be a lonely time and you'd be surprised how few people reach out.

But do be aware that in doing so you might not get the information you crave, and that you will be responsible for any upshot of your communication. So be prepared to follow through in whatever way is required by you of your old colleague.

ChaiTeaTaiChi Thu 20-Apr-17 15:52:48

And it takes a special kind of weird to go to a funeral of someone you don't know, or have never met,

It's perfectly normal in many cultures to go to funerals of people you don't know. Are all Irish people a "special kind of weird" hmm

jdoe8 Thu 20-Apr-17 16:02:30

Thanks all, D i'm planning on sending the first half of your message does :

"I'm so sorry for your loss, he was such a nice person"

Sound ok? I'm not sure about outright questioning how he died in the first message

Code42 Thu 20-Apr-17 16:03:24

Someone I know was very honest about approaching me - having seen an announcement in a national paper (very rare surname) that one of my family died suddenly and unexpectedly the week before FM 's 21st- wanting to know a) who it was in relation to me and b) what had happened. I was so taken aback, I told themconfused

At least in this instance it was someone who was an acquaintance of the coffee-every-other-month kind. Be aware, OP, that whilst you might get the details you want, afterwards, they'll be under no illusion that your contact was for their benefit.

jdoe8 Thu 20-Apr-17 16:03:55

and no I'm not planning on going to the funeral, although I have been to family members I haven't seen for a while and with a friend to one that I had only met a few times for emotional support. It's not weird..

user1489261248 Thu 20-Apr-17 16:05:18

Agree with expoxy; that's another thing too. You could reach out and be nosey (whatever) and find the person clinging on and taking advantage.

I know someone (I'll call him Dave,) who was speaking on the phone to an ex work colleague who was selling her house a few months ago, and he said 'let me know if you need anything,' blah blah blah. 'I can get you some boxes, help you pack, blah blah blah,' 'any help you need and so on.'

Casual words, but this person (I'll call her Liz,) took him at his word.

Liz rang 2 weeks later and said 'I am moving soon, do you have those boxes?' And 'I am moving on 28th Feb, can you come help me take some stuff up to my new home?' (as he had offered/promised...) Well this woman Liz lived 30 miles north of Dave, and the woman's new place was 30 miles north of her!

His wife (my friend) said 'well off you go then; go collect a dozen boxes from tesco like you promised, and hot foot it up there, and help her pack and move her up to her new place!' 'Are you coming?' he asked 'LOL NO!' my friend said 'fuck that. I don't even know the bloody woman!'

Turned out Liz wanted help sorting the garden too, and hanging curtains and nets, and building the beds and wardrobes etc...

He regretted offering help all right, and despite much pleading to my friend to go with him and help, she said 'no, fuck off! YOU are the one who offered to help her!'

He backed down and said he had hurt his back and couldn't drive.

I thought the woman was taking advantage a BIT, but he should NOT have offered, if he wasn't prepared to see it through. The woman was really irked and pissed off when my friend rang her to say 'Dave' was not able to do ANYthing to help!

As I said, be very careful with what you decide to 'offer.' Some people will take advantage 100%. So don't say it if you don't mean it.

PuffinNose Thu 20-Apr-17 16:08:02

You don't seem at all concerned about your friend.

Wben my grandad died, all these relatives crawled out of the woodwork. They may have been there to genuinely say goodbye and offer their support but the fact that they quickly disappeared back into the woodwork never to be seen again suggests they were either nosey, wanted to see if there was anything they could get, make it about them (oh I travelled x number of miles to get here and I have a poorly back. Whoa is me. Look at me.) or, as my grandma said at the wake "they are only fucking here for the food. The bastards. I wish they would piss off".

Don't be like them OP.

lasttimeround Thu 20-Apr-17 16:08:14

You don't ask how someone died when expressing condolences. Can't believe anyone would even consider that. Ask them how they are doing but pressing for details...shock

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