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A month on - you really do find out who your friends are, don't you?

(57 Posts)
saffynool Sat 12-Nov-16 11:59:38

This is a rant. I'm sorry.

Mum died a month ago. I always thought it was a cliche that you found out who your real friends are in times like this, but it's bloody true isn't it? I am so angry and upset with people that I thought were genuine close friends, and I don't know what to do with these emotions. I have had more compassion and kindness from random work colleagues than from people I've known and loved and trusted for years.

And it's not even as if mum was an abstract person, they all knew her. And my dad too, two of these friends bang on constantly about what a lovely person my dad is and how much they adore him. Cards, flowers, a phone call? Nope, nothing. I got a few texts in the first week and then nothing. Then one of them kept saying 'let me know if you want to meet for coffee', so a couple of weeks ago I did, gave her some dates she said she could do, heard nothing back. Nothing at all. She just disappeared.

The last straw has been that dp's grandmother died yesterday too. The funeral is going to fall on a day when I was supposed to be meeting up with this group of friends (for the first time since mum died). So I sent a whatsapp to them all yesterday to say I wasn't going to make it, and why. But it was a lighthearted message, nothing heavy or depressing. They have all read the message and still now, 24 hours later, not a single one has acknowledged it. Not even a 'sorry to hear that' or even a 'OK, see you soon'. Nothing.

These are people I've known for years. I thought they were my friends. I feel like screaming.

Blossomdeary Sat 12-Nov-16 12:05:34

Isn't it difficult - I think you should not cut ties with these old friends or take offence. Some people really just do not know how to respond in this situation and feel embarrassed. Death is a bit of a taboo and the comforting rituals have subsided.

I am so sorry for your loss and send loving wishes. flowers

Truckingalong Sat 12-Nov-16 12:08:17

People let you down and disappoint you. It's a sad and depressing fact and it hurts like fury. Who knows why some people behave like this. I know I never would. I'm really sorry to hear about your loss. It's shit isn't it.

saffynool Sat 12-Nov-16 13:36:21

I totally understand that some people find death difficult to handle. I don't see how that means they can't spend 10 seconds writing a text message to acknowledge that someone won't be attending a dinner, though.

Fuck em.

BratFarrarsPony Sat 12-Nov-16 13:39:10

the best thing that was said to me when my mum passed away was from a barman in the pub where I was having a drink who said " you do realise that people wont want to talk to you about this?"
he was so right! I had "friends" who would say really crap things like "when all this is over we will have to go for a drink'...confused

bakingaddict Sat 12-Nov-16 13:45:46

Not to be heartless but are you expecting a bit much from them. They offered their condolences by text in the first week so have acknowledged your loss, sometimes it's difficult to know what to say when somebody loses a parent beyond offering initial condolences

SleepFreeZone Sat 12-Nov-16 13:49:42

Bullshit. You are not expecting too much from them at all!!!

Sofiatheworst Sat 12-Nov-16 13:54:31

My mum died last year and I'm afraid I have to agree with you. Some "friends" just seem to have disappeared. One in particular who I was bridesmaid for just a couple of years earlier, who I had supported through tough times and happy times was noticeably absent. Not just to myself but others pointed it out too. My new outlook is to cherish those who cherish me and accept that not everyone will be a friend for life.

I am so sorry for your loss,

Overthinker2016 Sat 12-Nov-16 14:11:57

Whatsapp/facebook messager can be really odd generally.

I often find that when group messaging a lot of people think it's ok not to respond at all. For example I will send a message to a group of 6 suggesting a meet up. On average 4 might reply, 2 think it's ok just to not respond either way, which I personally think is the height of rudeness. Even more so with your situation.

Take these people as you find them OP. So I wouldn't cut them out your life totally but be less available when they are the ones who need a shoulder to cry on or emotional support. That is the standard they've set.

Sorry for your loss. You may find that new friendships emerge.

Loosechange1 Sat 12-Nov-16 14:21:04

Rant away. I agree. Also, people who can't even manage an I'm sorry annoy me. I know it can be hard know what to say, but those two little words aren't rocket science.

whitehandledkitchenknife Sat 12-Nov-16 14:29:41

I've found that there is a gap between those who have lost someone close and those who haven't. It's not an age thing more a life experience thing. I lost both parents within 12 months. As I came through the grief, I realised I had inadvertently joined a new group, the ones who "get it". I have friends with both parents living and a fair few with one. Have your friends joined the loss group yet? It may be that they don't (and can't) really understand. I'm sorry for your loss (and your dp).

Whatabloodyidiot1 Sat 12-Nov-16 14:34:11

I'm in a similar position, my mum was diagnosed with cancer during the summer, she wasn't ill at all and it came as a massive shock. The people who have really been there for me aren't the ones I expected at all, similarly very close friends I've known for years and who also know my mum have been shit, really shit. In the case of one friend I haven't had a call or a text at all. At times I've felt both furious and impotent, yes people have busy lives but a few words of comfort at a terrible time in a friends life really isn't too much to ask for.

saffynool Sat 12-Nov-16 15:16:38

bakingaddict - no, I don't think it is expecting too much, actually. Like, honestly, how lazy do you have to be as a friend to read and then ignore a text that says, sorry I can't come to dinner next week because I've got to go to another funeral?

I'm not asking for special treatment. I don't want them to sit and wipe away my tears for hours. I don't even actually need to talk about my mum or death or bereavement or how I feel at all. But 'sorry to hear that, hope you're ok, see you soon X' would be nice. You know, basic, entry-level niceness. Too much to ask though, apparently.

woowoowoo Sat 12-Nov-16 15:28:03

I hear you OP, with bells on!

My mum died last year and a I too found out who my real friends were. I had some big surprises.

I think those who have never experienced the loss of a parent simply do not understand and just don't know what to say. So some of them just...do nothing!

It is heartbreaking but it is very common for death to bring out people's true colours.

I now very clearly know who my real friends are and they mean the world to me. There are only a few but one true, loyal friend is worth twenty others.

I make no effort whatsoever with the people who stayed away from me in my time of need. I haven't cut them off, as such. I just don't make any effort to see them or contact them anymore. I don't miss them one bit.

It's not just you. flowers

Loosechange1 Sat 12-Nov-16 15:34:20

I told one of my friends my surviving parent had cancer, untreatable and aggressive. She turned the conversation to talking about her mother, who isn't ill.

Didn't hear from her again for several months. She turned up with a large bunch of flowers after my mother died, and stayed for 5 minutes as she had to go somewhere.

Ungrateful it was, but every time I looked at that bunch of flowers, and they were lovely, they pissed me off. I was happy to bin them when they died.

Potentialmadcatlady Sat 12-Nov-16 19:23:01

My Mum suffered a long slow death and I suffered/looked after her through it....a Lot of my so called friends just ignored me through it... One of my closest 'friends' sent me a text three weeks after she finally died saying 'are things back to normal now?'... I ignored it and she hasn't spoken to me once since despite me seeing her three/four times a week. She literally walked right past me today,two foot away and totally ignored me... The number of people who no longer speak to me is truly awful.. One of my it her friends and me were talking about it this week and she said they just don't know how to handle it so you just gave to forgive them..l disagree- I don't know how to handle it either but there's no way I would just stop talking to someone who was sad/grieving/in some sort of trouble..l would rather just be on my own now than with people- people are horrible...
Hugs to everyone who has lost someone

JerryFerry Sat 12-Nov-16 19:44:23

It's so true, and it can feel very hurtful.

I agree that there is a divide between people who get it and those who don't. Usually the ones who get it are those who have also experienced bereavement, but not always. At least, not obviously so.

The friend who has been most supportive of me since my mother does earlier this year still has her parents - and grandparents! But she has endured the grief of divorce and her child's life changing injury which are also long journeys through loss, challenge and loneliness.

On the other hand, some of my "everyday" friends have been no friends at all, pretty much just a shrug then "Can you have my kids Saturday because I'm going out" sort of response.

It really does clarify who is worth your time and who is not.

A month is no time at all. X

JerryFerry Sat 12-Nov-16 19:51:39

Potential that is awful, I'm so sorry. I wish I could meet you for coffee xx

I know what it's like to nurse a parent through a long illness, I barely slept or ate for months, all the while working three jobs and with sole care of 2 kids 😔. Looking back I don't know how I did it.

Months after mum died, I'm still feeling exhausted, even though I'm down to one job and no care responsibilities beyond my children.

Sorry everyone for what you're going through

echt Sat 12-Nov-16 20:09:25

Sorry you're going through this, saffy thanks

I agree that the "Let me know" ones are a royal pain; just one more burden for the bereaved to take up, and hurtful that you actually did the running and got knocked back. sad

I'm beyond grateful that I have one friend who has never stopped offering/asking, and chuffed that they took up my offer of an outing.

PPs who suggested forgiveness have a point, and I say this as someone who has had to take a couple of very deep breaths over the crassness of some individuals after my DH's recent death, and bear in mind they were his very good friends and value it that way.

Bloody hard yakka at times, though.

All the best, saffy

MarciaBlaine Sat 12-Nov-16 20:18:11

Don't think you are expecting too much. Some of my friends were lovely when my dad died. Then there was one who said she was coming round, then never turned up, then asked if I had enjoyed my days off work. :$ I haven't seen much of her since.

Potentialmadcatlady Sat 12-Nov-16 22:15:08

Thanks Jerry... It is awful.. If it wasn't for my kids needing me and me not being able to leave them I would take off somewhere and live in the wilds on my own... Or just check out... I don't think I will ever fully trust anyone again.. People who I thought were true friends weren't...
Hugs to everyone tonight.. Isn't it funny how random strangers on here are kinder than people in our real lives...

chatnanny Sat 12-Nov-16 22:28:09

I think people get better at this as they get older. In modern society people as old as 40 may not have experienced bereavement yet and thus don't know how to behave. I always think it's best to acknowledge the loss straightaway. Just "I'm so sorry to hear that".
My DH lost both his parents in his late 20s and we actually had the opposite experience and were touched by people coming to the funerals etc. My friend lost a child and said there were people who to this day (many years on) have never spoken to her again (and crossed the street) because they were crippled with embarrassment. I am so sorry for your losses and wonder if you could tell one of your erstwhile friends how deserted you're feeling.

mineofuselessinformation Sat 12-Nov-16 22:28:32

Grief is a time when people show their true colours. I don't believe in the British 'stiff upper lip' crap - and think it's an excuse for people to hide behind.
A kind message or few words can help tremendously, even just 'how are you doing' or 'I'm thinking of you' takes only a few seconds.
You're right, and I'm sorry.
flowers for everyone affected by this.

JerryFerry Sat 12-Nov-16 22:37:33

potential I hear you. There must be more of us! hang in there 🌸

Potentialmadcatlady Sat 12-Nov-16 22:41:22

Thanks Jerry..u too X

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