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When to contact friend...(5 Posts)
My friend and I are both middle aged and have known each other since childhood, (35 years,) although we have had spells of not seeing each other (maybe 2-3 years at a time; ) not fall outs, just drifted apart. That said, we have been in touch constantly for about 7 years now and see each other every 7-8 weeks.
I used to live near her in the 1980's and knew her family (8 siblings altogether.)
I now live about 40 miles away in a different county, but we meet for a coffee and a catch-up every couple of months in a small town that's halfway between us both usually. I always buy her a Christmas gift and birthday gift, and she does for me. Don't buy each others kids as it gets too much; she already has 15+ nieces and nephews as well as her own 3 kids.
Anyway, we met back in early December, and she told me her niece who is 30, was losing her battle with cancer (been fighting it for 4 or so years,) and her sister and brother-in-law were struggling as she is their only child, and they were very upset. I see her sister in passing once or twice a year (if I am in my old town where they all live, which I still visit now and again,) but I don't know her very well and have never met her daughter (my friend's niece.)
So anyway, the poor girl died in mid January. My friend texted me to tell me, and I messaged back and said I am so sorry, and asked when and where the funeral is. She messaged back and said it wasn't arranged yet. I messaged back and said 'ok well give them all my love, tell them I am so sorry, and let me know when the funeral is.' She messaged back and said 'thank you, I will pass on your condolences...'
I didn't hear anything else, so figured maybe they only wanted close family at the funeral, and very close friends of my friend's niece. I never met the girl and so I guess it would have been weird to go to her funeral, but I guess it would have been nice to have shown support for the family.
As I said, I don't even live in that county now, I don't have contact with anyone else who knows them, and so I didn't go. Well I couldn't anyway, as I didn't know when or where it was.
Then 3 days ago, I contacted my friend to say I hope all is well and that the funeral went well, and does she want to meet for a coffee soon and a chat?
So far I have heard nothing.
She does have a habit of not texting back or returning my calls, (until I have messaged 2 or 3 times,) as she works part-time, has 3 kids, and also a brother who she calls in on 3 or 4 times a week, as he has learning difficulties. So she is a busy person, and I don't take it personally, and as I said, I often message 3 times over a week or so before she replies.
I don't know though, whether I should keep bothering her this time after the close family member death.
Would you message again a few more times? Leave it a bit longer?
I am a bit puzzled at to what to do.
I would contact her in a day or so just to say that if she needs something you are there for her but no pressure if she needs more time. I imagine she is probably supporting her sister a lot right now as well as grieving herself.
If she's been a good friend she will likely come back. This family tragedy will have been huge for her family. She's likely supporting her nieces parents right now and things are pretty full on. It will take time for normality to return.
I wouldn't pressure her. Give it at least a week and send something that doesn't demand a reply like. No need to reply I Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you all and I'm here if you need me.
I couldn't cope with messages or people for a good few weeks after my mums funeral. It took all I had to function. Please give her space and time. She will appreciate it.
Thanks so much for the advice. I guess I will do that -leave it a few more days (as it has been 3 already,) and then say 'I hope you're all OK, let me know if you need to talk. No pressure, just contact me when you're ready...'
Something like that.
It's hard because I think 'I wonder if she got the message?' And 'should I message again now or in a week?'
I will message again, say Tuesday-ish.
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