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To be upset with best friend over reaction to death

(87 Posts)
rosewater09 Fri 11-Jan-19 22:44:36

Two weeks ago a very close relative developed sepsis and died within 48 hours. I was thankfully home for the holidays and was able to be with my relative the whole time. The process of watching her die an excruciating death coupled with how unexpected it was has left me devastated but what has also surprised me is the lack of support that I received from my best friend of 25 years.

Best friend knew my relative well and knows how close I was to my relative. When my relative was admitted to the ICU, I messaged my best friend to tell her that I was staying in town and would by my relative's side until she passed. Best friend (who lives 10 minutes from the hospital) responded with "I'm sorry." I didn't hear from her again until I messaged her 48 hours later to tell her my relative had passed away and that I was in shock and devested. Best friend responded by saying "I am sorry, I know how you feel because I have had a bad day too." I was shocked by her message and couldn't believe that she was equating a bad day to the death of my relative (turns out best friend was just stressed over about work). At this point, I was inconsolable with grief and didn't have the mindset to respond to what I felt was an inconsiderate message, and so I did not respond.

Four days later she sent me a message asking if I could help her pick out furniture for her new house, she ended the message by saying "hope you're feeling better!" I ignored her request to help her pick out furniture and instead said "thank you for asking, I am not feeling better. I am devasted and in shock and just trying to keep it together to help my family deal with the legal aspects of the passing and plan the funeral." Best friend responded by saying "I am sorry, does it help to know that other people in the world are suffering too." I felt the message was again minimising what I was going through and was not comforting at all.

Best friend works in mental health (she is a therapist) and she has also experienced the grief of losing close family members, so this isn't the case of her not knowing how to respond correctly or not understanding what grief feels like. I don't feel as if her messages are a real attempt at expressing condolence because they seem to centre on her (her bad day, her furniture and I am just an afterthought). When I reflect on the relationship I can see a pattern of this behaviour where when we get together she focuses on talking about her life and her problems, and she doesn't ask questions about me or my life. These are things that I have laughed off in the past, but now I can't seem to get past it.

What I am trying to figure out is if I am blowing this out of proportion? And if not, should I say something to her or should I ignore it?

Cranky17 Fri 11-Jan-19 22:48:23

She sounds quite selfish and dismissive of you. I’d have to have a conversation.
But if this is the pattern of the relationship what do you get out of it? You’re not her cheerleader

BillywilliamV Fri 11-Jan-19 22:49:16

This is not a friend, I hope other people are supporting you in your loss. flowers

Neolara Fri 11-Jan-19 22:49:41

I'm sorry for your loss.

That's extraordinarily crap of your friend. I was going to suggest that maybe she didn't know what to say, but then I saw she's a therapist, so there really is no excuse. The only thing I would say is that it sounds such an odd response from someone who should know better, that maybe something else is going on for her.

Bambamber Fri 11-Jan-19 22:51:15

Seems a really odd reaction. I am socially very awkward and never know what to say when someone says someone has passed. But even I know that is a really shit response. I would tell to her about it and tell her how it made you feel. If she is still so dismissive and makes it about herself again, she isn't a good friend

MsVestibule Fri 11-Jan-19 22:51:19

am blowing this out of proportion? If anything, I think you're under reacting! I don't think her responses are normal at all. Coupled with the fact that she appears to be very 'me me me', I would be seriously considering whether to continue my friendship with her.

I'm really sorry about your relative flowers.

birdiewoof Fri 11-Jan-19 22:51:50

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost a close family member to sepsis, it was the year anniversary yesterday. I totally understand the terrible experience you have just had.

Thankfully I my close friends have been brilliant, however other people have disappointed me, never mentioning it despite them knowing her really well, avoiding me etc. I don’t think I will ever understand some people’s reactions.

I would say if you usually have a good relationship then you should tell her how you are feeling about the way she is behaving. Maybe there is some kind of explanation. Sending you lots of love xx

HildaZelda Fri 11-Jan-19 22:51:59

She works as a therapist? Jesus! I would hate to be one of her patients.
YANBU OP. Your so called 'friend' is being very selfish.
I'm sorry to hear about your relative flowers

Bibijayne Fri 11-Jan-19 22:52:14

Yes, this person is not your friend. Cut them loose. Do you have other friends/ family close by? Have you been put in touch with any bereavement services?

Very sorry for your loss.

KateGrey Fri 11-Jan-19 22:53:13

I’m so sorry about your loss. Your friend sounds horrible. Has she always been the sun of the relationship?

Scarydinosaurs Fri 11-Jan-19 22:53:55

I’m so sorry for your loss. Your friend is a twat.

Marshmallow91 Fri 11-Jan-19 22:54:42

What a complete and utter heartless cow. Drop her because her attitude is horrible. I'm so sorry for your loss flowers

FoxInABox Fri 11-Jan-19 22:55:14

So sorry for your loss.
She doesn’t sound like much of a friend to me, I would really question if she is someone you need in your life.
My DH had similar when his DM died very unexpectedly- 2 days later a close friend asked him to move a washing machine for him. Needless to say he didn’t respond and hasn’t spoken to him since and that was 9 years ago.

Starlighting888 Fri 11-Jan-19 22:55:26

You are not blowing this out of proportion.

I am so sorry for your loss, you've just been through one of the hardest things you ever have to deal with. The next few months will be hard but you will find away to get through it, and I hope you have other people in your life to give you lots of cuddles.

Your friend should be supporting you, unfortunately when the chips are down you really find out who cares about you.

Flamingchips Fri 11-Jan-19 22:55:33

Wow, she sounds like a thoughtless dick.

So sorry about your relative, that sounds hellish.

LordNibbler Fri 11-Jan-19 22:56:49

I agree with a previous poster, you are under reacting. I would be seriously reconsidering this 'friendship' if I were you.
I'm so sorry you've suffered this devastating loss. flowers

Ginkythefangedhellpigofdoom Fri 11-Jan-19 22:57:15

No you absolutely aren't blowing it out of proportion.

That is a terrible way to treat a friend of any amount of time but a best friend of 25 years!

Later in your post seems to suggest she has always been a bad and selfish friend but until now you've not been in a position of really needing her.

Im not telling you to do this but if it were me, without a really big turn around this would be the end of the friendship for me.

GooseLose Fri 11-Jan-19 22:57:36

I ended a similar friendship after the bereavement of someone close to me. It was only then I realised that I had pretty much always been the giver in the friendship. It was really upsetting at the time but glad I left the one sided friendship behind and it taught me to be more discerning and appreciate even more a true friendship where you know someone is there for you.

So sorry for your loss, sounds like it would have been a shock to your system, make sure you look after yourself x

StoneofDestiny Fri 11-Jan-19 22:58:52

This is no friend. Even an acquaintance known on a superficial level could come up with kinder and more comforting words than she did. Ignore future messages - prioritise real friends and family, and yourself.

Sorry for your loss. You couldn't have done more for your relative than you did.

jasjas1973 Fri 11-Jan-19 22:59:03

Don't worry, people behave differently to grief or suffering, its all relative, she obviously has not a clue how you feel because -no doubt- she has suffered little in her life.
When my partner died v suddenly, a very good friend baked a cake and said "i hope in someway eating this makes you feel better"

Another gave me a pair of wellies, so i could enjoy country walks in the rain.

Crunchymum Fri 11-Jan-19 22:59:23

I always wondered where therapists deal with all their shit.

Sorry for your loss

Balaboosteh Fri 11-Jan-19 22:59:32

This is terrible behaviour. Some people have no self awareness whatsoever. She’s your best friend why?

Medicaltextbook Fri 11-Jan-19 23:00:26

I can understand the lack of contact during the 48 hours as I wouldn’t want to intrude, though maybe I should. The rest is inexcusable. Time to end the friendship. I have autism and I probably wouldn’t have known the best/comforting thing to say, but I know what she did would make it worse. .

purpleelk Fri 11-Jan-19 23:04:02

You’re under reacting. I’d message back, “Christ, do you need to be paid before you can empathise with someone grieving”

rosewater09 Fri 11-Jan-19 23:06:38

Thank you, everyone, for your kind responses. I am struggling with what to say to her and how to word it in a way that doesn't come off as highly emotional? She has been in my life for so long, and I do love her, but I am also questioning how much I can give to her when she isn't there for me.

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