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Lack of contact after loss of DH

(8 Posts)
scentedcandle Fri 29-Jul-11 20:01:21

Hi. My DH died 10 weeks ago after a short illness. I am due to return to work in the next couple of weeks and struggling as to how to deal with a close colleague who has made no contact at all since my DH's death and has done nothing to acknowledge what I've been through. So many other colleagues have sent cards, texts, emails etc which has been so helpful and kind, and because of all this support, returning to work feels less worrying than it might.

However, this particular colleague has made no contact at all. We have worked closely together on a range of issues for the last 4 or 5 years and I would have considered us to be - if not quite 'friends' - then certainly closer workmates than many others.

I will admit to feeling very annoyed about this person's insensivity but don't know if I'm overreacting. What do you think?

Hassled Fri 29-Jul-11 20:11:23

I'm very sorry about your DH and I'm cross on your behalf re the colleague.

All I can come up with is that he/she just didn't know what to say or how to say it. The whole "head in the sand/say nothing and it might all go away" approach. It's completely crap of them, but not uncommon - I think people have a panic reaction and turn it round into being about them ("what if it happened to me? how would I cope?"), and completely lose sight of who they should be comforting. I'll always remember the painful hour or so I spent not long after my father died reassuring a friend that her (perfectly healthy) father wasn't likely to die any time soon hmm.

Try not to dwell on it too much - the colleague clearly has issues you can do nothing about. Focus on the fact most of them have been supportive. Good luck - hope it goes well.

scentedcandle Fri 29-Jul-11 20:15:04

Thanks hassled. I think you are right, I can only assume they just don't know what to say. I think all of this has made me realised just how much a few words in a card can mean and I will always take the time to do this for people in future.

Just disappointed in this person I guess as I feel now that they aren't the person I thought they were

anastasia74 Sat 30-Jul-11 10:51:50

scented candle. You find out how people cope with the worst things that life throws at us when we lose someone don't you.

Most of my colleagues were wonderful both before and after I went back to work after my dad died suddenly.

One very close work colleague really surprised me when I broke down at work after about a week being back there. She just found the situation really awkward and didn't know what to say to me at all when I was upset. She was the only one at work who had not experienced any very close deaths in her family, not sure if this had anything to do with it - probably not.

Yes, you do find out a lot about people when the worst happens.

Very Sorry about your DH.

missdisorganised1 Sat 30-Jul-11 13:26:35

When Mum and Dad were killed I was really upset at how few of their "friends" bothered to speak to me at the funeral or write to me if they lived a long way off. When I emailed the various societies they had belonged to cancel their membership only one offered to refund their subscription but they all managed to stop sending the magazines that Mum and Dad's un-refunded susciption had paid for. Funny that!

As for (most of the neighbours) - not a word at the time or in the 12+ months since!

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 07-Aug-11 22:52:02

scented candle - sorry for your loss of your dh

my dh sadly committed suicide nearly 4 mths ago and you do find out who your real friends are

i have many fab friends who are supporting me and helping me 'get through this' but one ive known for over 20years hasnt been in contact since dh funeral which was beg may sad apart to say that she would be here for me - well she isnt!!

agree a card makes all the difference, obv i understand that many people dont know what to say, but i personally prefer people to say something and maybe put their foot in it so to speak rather then say nothing

Dawnybabe Sun 07-Aug-11 23:08:09

Before you act please consider that cards do get lost in the post.

So sorry for your loss.

JustFiveMinutesHAHAHA Sun 07-Aug-11 23:10:44

I'm really sorry to hear about your DH sad

It's going to be hard facing her, but hopefully she'll give you a big hug and say she's sorry for not having been in touch. Maybe, as others have said, she was just somewhat paralysed by not knowing what to say - it's pretty crap, but some people are just like that.

If not, it sounds like you have other work mates that will be there for you when you need them.

You definitely find out who your friends are at a time like this - you lose some 'friends' but you gain others.

Thinking of you.

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